Ireland's Kearney out of Six Nations match-up with Scotland
Ireland's Rob Kearney has been ruled out of Saturday's Six Nations clash with Scotland in Dublin, giving Simon Zebo another chance to play at full-back.
Kearney missed Saturday's 58-15 win over Italy with a hamstring problem, and after further assessment on Monday Ireland have confirmed that his Six Nations campaign is over.
Uncapped Munster back Andrew Conway has joined Joe Schmidt's squad as cover ahead of the final Six Nations game at Lansdowne Road.
Zebo deputised for Kearney in the nine-try thrashing of Italy and is now in line for a start at full-back again, as Ireland look for a second successive victory that could still rescue a third-place finish.
"Rob Kearney's hamstring hasn't recovered sufficiently and he will not be involved in Ireland camp this week," the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) confirmed in a statement.
Head coach Schmidt had hoped to have Kearney fit again for Scotland's visit.
Schmidt had expected Kearney to recover from the injury when he was asked about the 29-year-old's fitness in the wake of the romp over Italy.
Ireland still have hopes that other key players can return for the weekend, with Cian Healy also battling a hamstring strain and scrum-half Eoin Reddan struggling with a calf problem.
The defending champions started the Six Nations aiming for a third consecutive title, but are now battling to just salvage some pride after a tough run of frustrating performances exacerbated by injury worries.
Robbie Henshaw, Andrew Trimble and Keith Earls will continue training this week, despite all three suffering nasty-looking cuts against the Italians.
"Cian Healy and Eoin Reddan will continue their rehab today with the aim of being available to train tomorrow," read Ireland's statement.
"Robbie Henshaw received some stitches above the eye, Andrew Trimble got a couple of stitches on his nose and Keith Earls received some stitches in his lip."
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