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The 27-year-old front-rower has been drafted in as cover after Munster teammate Flannery was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a calf tear.
Varley is hopeful he will arrive in Auckland to watch Ireland’s Pool C clash with two-time champions Australia on Saturday before joining the training squad.
“There were a couple of emotions running through my head when I got the call from Declan (Kidney) inviting me to join up with the squad,” said Varley, who has two international caps under his belt.
“The first was obviously overriding elation at getting the opportunity to take part in the tournament. You always dream of representing your country at the highest possible level and the World Cup is the pinnacle of the sport.
“After the initial excitement, my thoughts turned to Jerry’s (Flannery) position. I know he’ll be gutted at having to return home early after what has been a hard journey for him to get his fitness back, but I am sure he will be looking to get back playing as soon as possible.
“The best possible compliment I can pay him is to make sure that I train hard down there (New Zealand) and do whatever I can to help the squad be as successful as possible.
“I’ve been able to maintain my fitness levels with Munster and kept my game time ticking over with them, so I feel fresh and ready to do whatever is asked of me.
“I was part of the extended squad for the preseason, so a lot of the technical stuff and calls are still fresh enough for me to be able to hit the ground running.”
In Flannery’s absence, Ulster’s Rory Best again gets the nod at hooker against Australia while Declan Kidney makes three changes to the side that defeated the USA 22-10 in Ireland’s World Cup opener.
Rob Kearney comes in at full-back in place of Geordan Murphy while Eoin Reddan replaces Conor Murray at scrum-half and Sean O’Brien is picked ahead of Shane Jennings at openside.
15. Rob Kearney – Leinster
14. Tommy Bowe – Ospreys
13.Brian O'Driscoll – Leinster
12.Gordon D'Arcy – Leinster
11. Keith Earls – Munster
10. Jonathan Sexton – Leinster
9. Eoin Reddan – Leinster
1. Cian Healy – Leinster
2.Rory Best – Ulster
3.Mike Ross – Leinster
4. Donncha – O'Callaghan Munster
5.Paul O'Connell – Munster
6.Stephen Ferris – Ulster
7. Sean O’Brien – Leinster
8.Jamie Heaslip – Leinster
16. Sean Cronin – Leinster
17.Tom Court – Ulster
18. Donnacha Ryan – Munster
19. Denis Leamy – Munster
20. Conor Murray – Munster
21. Ronan O'Gara – Munster
22. Andrew Trimble – Ulster