Ankle injury threatens to see Stuart Olding miss out on American dream

Stuart Olding in action during the PRO12 final against Leinster
Stuart Olding in action during the PRO12 final against Leinster
Share this article

Young Ulster centre, Stuart Olding, is sweating on an ankle injury which could rule him out of his first senior Irish call-up.

The 20-year-old suffered the injury during Satuday’s RaboDirect PRO12 Final shoot-out in Dublin against Leinster.

Ulster were unable to say after the game how serious the injury was, but it had obviously put a doubt on his chances to tour North America with Ireland.

Olding joined the Irish training camp earlier this week and a decision will be made on Thursday on whether he will travel with the squad.

It would be a major blow for the Ulster centre.

Although still on an Ulster Academy contract, Olding found himself thrust into the spotlight when other centres were felled by injury.

Form being a possible fifth choice midfielder, Olding became the regular starter at inside centre and has certainly impressed not just at Provincial level but National now too.

Olding had expected to head to France with the Ireland Under-20 side for the Junior World Cup.

However, he was one of several uncapped players who was given the nod to feature with the Irish senior panel in North America.

Munster’s James Downey is poised to replace the Ulster centre if the call tomorrow was negative.

Prop Mike Ross sat out training yesterday while Leinster hooker, Sean Cronin joined the panel yesterday replacing Best.

Meanwhile, Peter O’Mahony, is delighted he has been given the opprotunity to captain Ireland on the tour.

The 23-year-old Munster backrow forward was handed the skipper’s armband after Rory Best was a late call up to the British & Irish Lions squad.

O’Mahony said: “It is a huge honour for me and my family. I was delighted to get the call.

“This is an excting Ireland squad with a good mix of youth and experience, so it should be a fun and interesting trip.

“Some things are different when you are captain, but on the pitch you just down your job and what you normally do,” adeded O’Mahony

Ireland acting head coach, Les Kiss, how is holding the fort until new coach, Joe Schmidt, comes into the position, belives O’Mahony will thrive as captain.

“It was noted from a young age that Peter had leadership skills.

“Those skills have come through often for Munster and during under-age rugby for Ireland.

“It is a great environment for Peter to feel what is it like to take a team to a different environment.

“I believe he will handled it very well.” added Kiss.

Ireland will depart on their summer tour on Saturday.

Ulster hooker, Niall Annett wil joing the Emerging Irish side which will take part in the Tibilisi Cup in Georgia this summmer.