Leinster’s Ian Madigan has been drafted into the extended Ireland squad to play Scotland in the RSB Six Nations at Murrayfield this weekend.
Many eyebrows were raised when Madigan was initially excluded from the squad, especially given his fine recent form with Leinster, however with Connacht’s Dave McSharry currently unable to train due to a groin injury head coach Declan Kidney has called up Madigan.
There has been a growing clamour for Madigan to receive a call-up in the wake of first choice Ireland outhalf Jonathan Sexton's injury.
Those calls became even more pronounced after the weekend when Madigan kicked four out of five penalties against Treviso in Leinster's weekend Pro12 victory over Benetton Treviso.
At the same time Ronan O'Gara endured one of his more disappointing games in a Munster shirt, converting just one penalty from four as his side were beaten by Scarlets.
Chris Henry's Six Nations campaign with Ireland is over after it was confirmed that the Ulster flanker has suffered a cartilage tear to his right knee.
Henry picked up the injury during Ulster's Pro12 victory over Zebre and a scan today confirmed that he will require surgery which will rule him out for approximately four weeks.
Munster back row Tommy O'Donnell has been called into the squad as cover for this week after making an appearance for the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds at the end of January.
Henry's provincial team-mate Luke Marshall is still hoping to recover from thigh bruising in time to be involved in this weekend's Six Nations game with Scotland.
Extended Ireland squad: Rory Best, Darren Cave, Tom Court, Sean Cronin, James Coughlan, Keith Earls, Luke Fitzgerald, Declan Fitzpatrick, Craig Gilroy, Robin Henshaw, Jamie Heaslip, Iain Henderson, Paddy Jackson, Rob Kearney, David Kilcoyne, Ian Madigan, Luke Marshall, Fergus McFadden, Conor Murray, Sean O'Brien, Donncha O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, Brian O'Driscoll, Ronan O'Gara, Peter O'Mahony, Eoin Reddan, Mike Ross, Donnacha Ryan, Lewis Stevenson, Devin Toner