Ireland head coach Graham Ford has had to give up the opportunity of watching Ireland Wolves on their tour to South Africa because he has a fractured vertebra and three broken ribs.

Ford slipped at home on the eve of his flight last week but believed it was only bruising. However, after visiting a doctor in Durban, he was sent for a x-ray which revealed the full extent of the damage.

The South African has returned home to recuperate and hopefully be fit to travel with the senior squad which leaves for a three-match T20 series in India against Afghanistan on March 1.

Wolves head coach Pete Johnston is being assisted on the tour by Ryan Eagleson and Albert van der Merwe and the squad play the first two T20 matches against Namibia today.

The T20 squad includes senior internationals Gareth Delany, Shane Getkate, Craig Young and captain Harry Tector who played in the team that beat Namibia in the third place play-off at the World T20 Qualifiers in Dubai in November.

Tector knows the one new face in the squad, Curtis Campher, a 20-year-old South African, Irish passport-holder, as they were in the same class in St Stithians College, Johannesburg, when Tector was on a transition year exchange.

A third T20 will be played on Friday with the final two games in the series next Sunday. The teams will then play two 50-over games next week and the tour ends with a 50-over game against a Northern Titans Select on February 29.