Johnny Sexton will withdraw from the Ireland squad on the three-test tour to South Africa today.
The Leinster outhalf suffered a shoulder injury in the PRO12 final which was deemed serious enough to require surgery. According to Ruaidhri O'Connor, that surgery has already taken place - and head coach Joe Schmidt will name a replacement this afternoon.
The injury appeared to happen in the 29th minute of Leinster's defeat in the PRO12 final - but the outhalf played on, and was seen to be holding his shoulder gingerly at various points throughout the game.
It's not thought to be a long-term injury for Sexton, and there are certainly some positives to giving the 30-year-old a summer off to get ready for the pre-season. The outhalf has been playing almost non-stop for the last number of years, and a chance to recharge the batteries could see him return to form next season.
Paddy Jackson is the only recognised flyhalf in the squad at the moment, and should be favourite to start in the first test in Cape Town on the 11th of June. It will be interesting to see how Jackson fares after his stellar season, and whether he can take that form onto the international stage.
But Sexton isn't the only injury concern in the Ireland squad. Both Dave and Rob Kearney are battling injuries. According to Murray Kinsella, Dave's unspecified injury could be serious enough for him to withdraw from the tour as well; with Craig Gilroy on standby. Rob Kearney is a worry after sustaining a problem after Wednesday's training session with Tiernan O'Halloran already called into camp as precautionary cover.
Joe Schmidt was set to update his squad today at 1.10pm after Luke Fitzgerald was an early withdrawal. It is expected that Matt Healy or Simon Zebo will replace Fitzgerald, and Bordeaux-bound Ian Madigan is the favourite to take Sexton's place on the tour.
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