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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 May, 2003, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Foley out of Irish tour squad
Munster number 8 Anthony Foley who has captained Ireland in the past
Foley's expereince will be missed on the tour to Oceania

Munster number 8 Anthony Foley has withdrawn from Ireland's summer tour to Oceania because of a neck injury.

His back row place will be taken by Leinster flanker Aidan McCullen while Foley's Munster team-mate Denis Leamy fills the vacancy for Friday's training match in Limerick.

Foley, one of the most experienced players in the squad, is the sixth player to become unavailable for Tests against Australia, Tonga and Samoa.

The other absentees are Brian O'Driscoll (hamstring), Shane Horgan (thigh), John Hayes (groin), Jeremy Staunton (groin) and Neil Doak (shoulder).

Foley's absence leaves coach Eddie O'Sullivan with a slight dilemma as he was one of a number of vice-captains in the squad.

Keith Wood is travelling with the party, but will not be playing, while O'Driscoll, who captained Ireland through the season, is also sidelined.

Obvious choice

Ulster fly-half David Humphreys would be the obvious choice, but whether he will be in the starting line-up against the world champions is a mute point.

O'Sullivan said he will just play things match per match.

''I am not going down that road in naming a tour captain,'' said O'Sullivan.

''We will just see as we progress. There will be a specific captain for each game.''

Up to 15 of the more senior players will return home to rest following the game against Australia on 7 June.

Ireland duo on Scotland shortlist
22 May 03  |  Rugby Union
O'Driscoll misses Ireland tour
20 May 03  |  Internationals
England lose four for Baa-Baas
20 May 03  |  Internationals

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