Stephen Ferris has been forced to withdraw from the Ireland replacements named for Friday’s World Cup warm-up match against Italy at Ravenhill. Alan Quinlan will take up the vacancy left on the bench by Ferris.
Ferris’ left knee flared up yesterday afternoon following training and it is felt by the Ireland medical team that a few days’ rest will allow the knee to settle down. Stephen is expected to resume full training next week.
Ferris had an arthroscopy performed on his knee after injuring it playing in the summer tour’s second Test against Argentina in June. He has had a good pre-season of rehabilitation and at this point is not a major injury concern.
Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan said: “It is a big disappointment for Stephen not to be taking part in the game as I know he was looking forward to getting a chance to come on and perform in front of the Ulster crowd. The most prudent course of action was not to risk him being so close to the World Cup and allow the knee time to settle down.”