Leinster scrum-half Isaac Boss has called on Fergus McFadden and Eoin O’Malley to prove themselves as the future of Irish rugby in the absence of Brian O’Driscoll.
O’Driscoll, who has not featured in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season, will go under the knife on Wednesday to repair a shoulder problem that will keep him out of action for approximately six months.
As a result the Irish captain may not feature again this season but Boss believes McFadden, who has six international caps to his name, and 23-year-old O’Malley can fill the void.
"We're lucky enough to have some quality midfield players to come in and it's probably the future of Irish rugby with Ferg (Fergus) McFadden and (Eoin) O'Malley and other guys. They are ready to take their chance," said New Zealand-born Irishman Boss.
"It's the nature of rugby, someone gets injured and someone else gets their chance and they are ready to take their chance.
"Obviously everyone is very disappointed [for Brian]. There are a number of injuries in the squad and you'd feel sorry for them.
“As a team it's probably selfish to say we'll miss them because they are the ones who are missing out on being involved in the team and being out there at games.”