Kelly (28) travelled with the senior squad as cover for full-back Girvan Dempsey who had aggravated a groin injury. Dempsey was put through a fitness test this morning (Fri) at a pitch adjacent to the team hotel but failed to satisfy the Irish management and was withdrawn from the squad.
Geordan Murphy will now take over from Dempsey in the last line of defence with the versatile Kelly, who impressed in the A game against Scotland, slotting into the right wing position.
Commenting on the change Irish coach Eddie O'Sullivan was confident that it would have little adverse effect on the selection. "Obviously it's disappointing for Girvan but we have three more games to go after this one and there is no point in taking any chances. We have the back-up. John Kelly has been a model of consistency for Munster all year and indeed may have been a little unfortunate to have missed out on the senior squad so I'm fully confident that he will slot in no problem."