O'Driscoll fit to lead Ireland

2010-11-02 17:30

Dublin - Skipper Brian O'Driscoll has been cleared to play for Ireland on Saturday in the Test match against world champions South Africa.

O'Driscoll was a doubt because of the hamstring injury he sustained on European Cup duty for Leinster against Racing Metro on October 9 but has been passed fit. It will be his first match in four weeks.

"I feel good and I'm looking forward to the team coming back to what is essentially our home," said O'Driscoll.

"We've enjoyed our time at Croke Park but now we want to make some memories at the new stadium.

"It would have been disappointing to miss the first game at the new Aviva so I'm looking forward to playing."

Jonathan Sexton has been given the start ahead of Ronan O'Gara at fly-half, forming part of an all-Leinster backline other than Osprey Tommy Bowe on the right wing.

Sexton links-up with Eoin Reddan at half-back with Gordon D'Arcy named at inside centre.

The race for the left wing has been won by Luke Fitzgerald in what will be his first Test in almost a year.

Munster's David Wallace has held off the challenge of Sean O'Brien to start at openside with Stephen Ferris and Jamie Heaslip completing the back row. Denis Leamy offers cover from the bench.

Cian Healy has won the battle for the loosehead duties and is joined in the front row by Ulster's Rory Best and Tony Buckley of Munster.

A decision on the final replacement will be made later in the week with Keith Earls, Andrew Trimble and Paddy Wallace in contention.

Ireland will be hoping to avoid a fourth successive Test defeat when they meet South Africa, a losing sequence dating back to the final match of the Six Nations.

Ireland (15-1):

Rob Kearney (Leinster); Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster); Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster); Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), David Wallace (Munster), Stephen Ferris (Ulster); Mick O'Driscoll (Munster), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster); Tony Buckley (Munster), Rory Best (Ulster), Cian Healy (Leinster).

Replacements: Sean Cronin (Connacht), Tom Court (Ulster), Donncha Ryan (Munster), Denis Leamy (Munster), Peter Stringer (Munster), Ronan O'Gara (Munster), Paddy Wallace (Ulster) or Andrew Trimble (Ulster) or Keith Earls (Munster).


  • Squarepants - 2010-11-02 17:44

    Was hoping to see Brett Wilkinson on the bench for the front row. Otherwise, I reckon the Irish are going to give us a good old wake up call!

  • drol - 2010-11-02 19:08

    well i would hope now that they dont put lambie in the centre position as o'drisscol is goin got pommel him and thats excatly what happened to derrick liefling hougaard when he got pommeled by the somoan. and it ruined his career

  • Oyrish to Win - 2010-11-02 19:14

    Ireland will win this game. Their team is far more settled and they have a coach, two things the Boks dont possess.

  • Smiling Paddy - 2010-11-02 20:02

    BOD (Leinster) has already run circles around Jean de Villiers (Munster) in the Heineken Cup in front of all of Ireland busting their holes laughing. Jeanie returned to SA and his oblivious WP/Stormers mates with his tail between his legs. Now he's coming back for another humiliation in front of a roaring Irish crowd. He knows what's coming but the rest of SA don't see it coming. I LOVE IT. BOD is going to make an even bigger fool of Adi Jacobs by running right over him for the first of a brace of tries. No need to run around that lightweight. IRELAND HAVE BEEN WAITING ALL YEAR FOR THIS FIXTURE AND ARE HUNGRY TO WIN. THEY GOING TO CRUSH THE SPRINGBOKS FOR THE FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW. FIRST WIN FOR THE IRISH IN THE NEW AVIVA STADIUM. 1, 2, 3... 4 HA HA HA HA HA That's what you get for pitching up with a bunch of newbies 48 hours before the game. Great planning!

  • jvr - 2010-11-03 09:18

    sjame - the springboks or is it spring goats will not even be close - it is going to be a humiliation

  • koos - 2010-11-03 13:19

    Bakkies will anyway nail BOD.

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