Sexton blow for Ireland ahead of South Africa tour

Jonathan Sexton will miss Ireland's tour to South Africa as four changes to Joe Schmidt's squad were confirmed on Thursday.

Influential fly-half Sexton injured his shoulder while playing for Leinster in Saturday's Pro12 final loss to Connacht.

He joins Luke Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney and Rob Kearney in being ruled out of the three-Test trip, which kicks off on June 11.

Sexton's club colleagues Fitzgerald and Dave Kearney were injured in the same match, while Rob Kearney suffered a hamstring strain in training on Wednesday.

Craig Gilroy, Matt Healy, Ian Madigan and Tiernan O'Halloran have been drafted in.

Losing the experienced Sexton is the latest in a long line of setbacks for coach Schmidt, who is already without the likes of Tommy Bowe, Cian Healy and Simon Zebo.

Ireland have never beaten South Africa on the Springboks' home soil.

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