Josh van der Flier to miss Ireland’s tour of South Africa

Josh van der Flier
Josh van der Flier

Josh van der Flier will miss Ireland’s summer tour to South Africa after undergoing ankle surgery.

Leinster’s fast-developing back-rower broke into Ireland’s Test side during an impressive RBS 6 Nations campaign, but will now be sidelined for two months.

The 23-year-old flanker will also miss Leinster’s Pro12 semi-final against Ulster at Dublin’s RDS Arena on Friday, May 20.

“Josh van der Flier saw a specialist on Monday having injured his ankle against Ulster and following further review it was decided that Josh should have an operation to repair the damage,” read a Leinster statement.

“He had surgery yesterday and it was a success but he will be out for eight weeks.”

Van der Flier was among the 44 players who convened at Ireland’s one-day training camp last month as head coach Joe Schmidt eyed early preparations for the three-Test June tour of South Africa.

The dogged loose-forward would have been hoping to boost his development still further by taking on the Springboks, but instead will now start a painstaking rehabilitation process.

Leinster still expect Rob Kearney and Johnny Sexton to beat minor injury issues in time for that semi-final clash with Ulster.

Full-back Kearney is nursing an ankle issue while Sexton has picked up a quad complaint.

Leinster confirmed in their statement: “Rob Kearney and Johnny Sexton were both withdrawn against Benetton Treviso for precautionary reasons but are making good progress from both injuries.”