World rankings slump adds to Kidney’s woes

Declan’s Kidney hopes of remaining Ireland coach suffered another devastating blow yesterday as the national slide slumped to their lowest ever position in the IRB World Rankings.

Kidney’s side have nowtumbled below Samoa andArgentina to ninth in the grid, marginally ahead of Scotland and Tonga.

Ireland’s previous lowest position was eighth, but it could have been worse than ninth had the Scots not slipped to a 23-16 loss to France at the Stade de France in the final RBS 6 Nations match of 2013.

Meanwhile the fallout from the disastrous campaign continues as Ireland’s talismanic centre Brian O’Driscoll has been cited by the independent commissioner for an alleged stamping offence which led to his yellow card against Italy on Saturday.

The Leinster man, if found guilty, could miss his province’s Challenge Cup quarter-final meeting with Wasps on April 5 with the standard punishment for this type of offence being a two-week ban.

The date and location for O’Driscoll’s hearing has yet to be announced.

However Luke Fitzgerald will definitely miss the game and the remainder of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in Saturday’s Six Nations defeat to Italy.

The Leinster man, who will undergo surgery once the swelling goes down, was only on the field for a matter of minutes having entered the fray as a replacement for Keith Earls.

Earls will meet with a shoulder specialist this week to assess the damage done to his AC joint which forced him off in the first half of the game in Rome.

Munster sources admit the Limerick man is looking ‘very doubtful’ for the province’s Heineken Cup quarter-final with Harlequins at the Stoop on Sunday, April 7th.

There was some good news for Leinster though with Gordon D’Arcy recovering fromfoot injury and he may be in contention for Saturday’sRaboDirect PRO12 clash with the Glasgow Warriors, (RDS, 7.45pm).


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