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Dillane replaces Baird in Irish squad

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Connacht lock Ultan Dillane. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Connacht lock Ultan Dillane. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Connacht lock Ultan Dillane. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Connacht lock Ultan Dillane has been recalled to the Ireland squad in place of the injured Ryan Baird.

Baird had been in line to make his international debut in the coming weeks, but an adductor strain picked up whilst playing for Leinster last weekend, has ruled the 21-year old out of Ireland's remaining two Six Nations games.

Dillane joined up with the squad today as Andy Farrell's squad met up for the first time ahead of their meeting with Italy on Saturday week.

As confirmed earlier this week, Jordan Larmour will not be available for any of the upcoming international window after the Leinster man dislocated his shoulder against Benetton.

As things stand, Farrell has opted against calling up a replacement for the stricken Larmour.

Peter O'Mahony and Chris Farrell were identified as close contacts in Munster last week, but the pair are said to be Covid-19 clear, and will complete the required period of isolation before joining the Ireland squad on Monday.

In other injury news, Johnny Sexton (hamstring), Rónan Kelleher (quad) and Andrew Porter (hamstring) will be monitored this week with a view to training on Monday.

Connacht front-row duo Finlay Bealham and Dave Heffernan are following the return to play protocols.

All players and management produced negative PCR tests on Monday ahead of entering national camp today.

Meanwhile, the first of three national Sevens tournaments over the coming weeks is set to be played in Dublin on Saturday, as Ireland will go head-to-head against Munster, Connacht and Ulster.

Due to a raft of injuries, as well as a host of international call-ups, Leinster have dropped out. With two further events lined up for October 31 and November 7 when Leinster will rejoin. It is hoped the tournament, titled 'IRFU Academy 7s', will become an annual event.

The World Rugby Sevens Series has been halted due to complications arising from the pandemic and with Ireland in limbo for the last few months, the IRFU have decided to play three tournaments.