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Ireland skipper Best ruled out of tour Down Under

Ireland captain Rory Best has been ruled out of the three-Test tour of Australia because of a hamstring injury.

Best, who has been capped 111 times for his country, is suffering from a hamstring problem and head coach Joe Schmidt confirmed at a media event at Carton House on Thursday the skipper would not be available for selection.

The 35-year-old, twice a British and Irish Lions player - in 2013 and 2017 - has been replaced in the squad by Munster hooker Niall Scannell for the clashes in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Leinster's Sean Cronin is expected to start next Saturday's first Test in Brisbane while Rob Herring is also a potential option.

Schmidt also revealed he has yet to make a decision on who will take over the captain's armband although he did say both Johnny Sexton and Peter O'Mahony are in contention.

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