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Autumn International: Ireland wing Fergus McFadden fractures bone in his hand

Last Updated: 21/11/13 11:44am

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Fergus McFadden: Ruled out of Sunday's Test against New Zealand

Fergus McFadden: Ruled out of Sunday's Test against New Zealand

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Ireland wing Fergus McFadden has been ruled out of Sunday's Test against New Zealand after fracturing a bone in his hand, while Brian O'Driscoll is also doubtful.

McFadden, who was Ireland's leading ball-carrier in last weekend's defeat against Australia, is expected to be sidelined for 'a number of weeks'.

O'Driscoll hurt his calf during the 32-15 loss to the Wallabies, but he is confident he will be fit to face the All Blacks for the final time in his career.

"I'd be pretty positive," said O'Driscoll. "I've been a bit unfortunate this year with a few niggly things.

"My calf has slowed me down and has stayed with me and I could feel it on Saturday and managed to see it.

"If I handle the week well, I shouldn't be far off. It's not any reason to use it an excuse for not playing brilliantly.

"In plenty of other games I've managed injuries, it's part and parcel of the game. You have to cope with picking up knocks."

Jonathan Sexton was withdrawn at half-time against Australia with a hamstring strain but the fly-half has not been ruled out of Sunday's Aviva Stadium clash.

Ulster centre Darren Cave and Munster full-back Felix Jones has been called up as injury cover.

Ireland have never beaten New Zealand and although O'Driscoll believes the current side is one of the best he's faced, he remains hopeful the home side can pull off a shock victory.

"For a while I think it is (their best side)," he said. "Anyone that saw that game against South Africa realised they were two brilliant sides, to win one of the great spectacles makes you realise how good they are.

"But, if you catch them on an off day and things go right, it can happen for us. We'll put ourselves in the same position, treating this game like one we can win.

"I'm the eternal optimist. No one will give us a chance, but that's okay with us."

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