Ulster's Stuart Olding doubtful for Ireland tour of North America

Stuart Olding is named in the Ireland squad for the North American squad

Ulster centre Stuart Olding could miss Ireland's tour of North America because of an ankle injury.

Ireland will make a decision on the uncapped 20-year-old on Thursday, with Munster's James Downey on stand-by to replace Olding.

Mike Ross sat out training on Tuesday with a dead leg, while Leinster hooker Sean Cronin has replaced Rory Best after the Ulster man's Lions call-up.

Munster flanker Peter O'Mahony takes over from Best as captain for the tour.

Ulster hooker Best was not in the original Lions squad but his got his chance after England's Dylan Hartley was banned for 11 weeks for abusing a referee, resulting in his exclusion from the Lions.

O'Mahony, who has been capped 14 times, is relishing his role and captain and feels that justice has been done after Best joined the elite of British and Irish rugby.

"It's a huge honour for me and my family. I was delighted by the call and delighted for Rory to get his chance with the Lions," the 23-year-old said.

"We all thought he deserved it in the first place and we should have been sending text messages of congratulation on 30 April.

"This is an exciting 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're captain, but on the pitch you just do what your normally do."

Les Kiss, who is in temporary charge of Ireland until new head coach Joe Schmidt takes charge later in the summer, has backed O'Mahony to thrive as skipper.

"It was noted from a young age that Peter had leadership skills and those skills have come through often for Munster and during under-age rugby for Ireland," he said.

"It's a great opportunity for Peter to feel what it's like to take a team to a different environment. I believe he will handle it very well."

Ireland will face the USA in Houston on 8 June before the game against Canada in Toronto seven days later.

Ireland squad for North American Tour

Isaac Boss (Leinster), Darren Cave (Ulster), Tom Court (Ulster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Declan Fitzpatrick (Ulster), Jamie Hagan (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Chris Henry (Ulster), Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Felix Jones (Munster), David Kilcoyne (Munster), Ian Madigan (Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Paul Marshall (Ulster), Mike McCarthy (Connacht), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster), Tommy O'Donnell (Munster), Stuart Olding (Ulster), Peter O'Mahony (Munster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Mike Sherry (Munster), Richardt Strauss (Leinster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster), Simon Zebo (Munster).

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