O'Driscoll back to lead Irish

2011-08-17 15:31

Dublin - Brian O'Driscoll will return to captain a powerful-looking Ireland in their Rugby World Cup warm-up match against France in Dublin this weekend, it was confirmed on Wednesday.

The legendary 32-year-old Leinster star will resume his partnership with Gordon D'Arcy in the centre as Ireland attempt to bounce back from their 19-12 loss to France in Bordeaux last weekend.

O'Driscoll had missed that match as well as Ireland's previous warm-up match against Scotland as he comes back from neck and shoulder injuries.

Elsewhere, Ireland coach Declan Kidney has restored fly-half Jonathan Sexton and scrumhalf Tomas O'Leary at half-back ater both players sat out the defeat to France last weekend.

Andrew Trimble has retained his place on the right wing with Keith Earls filling in on the opposite flank.

Kidney has meanwhile handed a first start to Munster fullback Felix Jones, who steps up in the absence of Rob Kearney, who is nursing a sore groin.


Ireland (15 to 1):

Felix Jones (Munster); Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster, capt), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster); Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Tomas O'Leary (Munster); Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), David Wallace (Munster), Sean O’Brien (Leinster); Paul O’Connell (Munster), Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster); Mike Ross (Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster), Cian Healy (Leinster)

Replacements: Jerry Flannery (Munster), Tom Court (Ulster), Mike McCarthy (Connacht), Stephen Ferris (Ulster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Ronan O’Gara (Munster), Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster)