Ireland have lost their South African born hooker Richardt Strauss for the entire Six Nations Championship due to an ankle ligament injury.
Leinster hooker Strauss made his Ireland debut during the Autumn Internationals and is expected to be out of rugby for 10 weeks after injuring his ankle playing in the Heineken Cup against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.
Ireland coach Declan Kidney has called up seven additional players to the training squad in Carton House this week as they prepare for the opening game of the Six Nations and the Ireland Wolfhounds clash with England Saxons on Friday.
Five of the players that Kidney has called up are from Munster who beat Racing on the weekend and remained in the running for the Heineken Cup.
James Coughlan (Munster), Tommy O’Donnell (Munster), Rhys Ruddock (Leinster), Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster), Mike Sherry (Munster), Damien Varley (Munster), Ian Keatley (Munster) are the seven players who have been called up.
Kidney said that Ulster’s Roger Wilson was considered but has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Kidney has also added Performance Psychologist Enda McNulty to his management team for the duration of the 6 Nations.
McNulty, an All Ireland winner with Armagh in 2002, has previously worked with Leinster.