Six Nations

O'Driscoll set for swansong?

2013-03-14 15:50
Brian O'Driscoll (Gallo Images)

Dublin - Brian O'Driscoll was named Thursday in the Ireland side to take on Italy in their Six Nations closer in Rome on Saturday in what could be his final match in the tournament.

O'Driscoll, along with centre partner Luke Marshall, was concussed during last weekend's 13-13 draw with France, but both players have been passed fit.

The former skipper has struggled with injuries over the last three years and there have been reports in the Irish media that he is set to announce his retirement from international rugby at the age of 34.

However, Ireland head coach Declan Kidney was forced to change his starting line-up when flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, who had been named in the team after missing the games against Scotland and France with a hamstring injury, was ruled out again.

Just two hours after being named in the side, Leinster playmaker Sexton withdrew after tearing a tendon in his left foot during a training session on Thursday.

Paddy Jackson deputised for Sexton in Ireland's last two matches and he will win his third cap after being restored to the team to cover for the injury.

"Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton has been ruled out of the game against Italy on Saturday," an Irish Rugby Football Union statement read.

"A scan has confirmed that he has torn a tendon in his left foot and is therefore ruled out this weekend."
Ian Madigan, who made his debut against France last weekend, has been named among the replacements to fill the void left by Jackson's promotion.

Craig Gilroy returns on the right wing after overcoming a groin strain, replacing rib-fracture victim Fergus McFadden.

The pack is unchanged from the team that started against France with lock Donnacha Ryan being passed fit after sustaining a shoulder injury in that game.

Ireland have never lost to Italy in the Six Nations with their last defeat to the Azzurri coming in 1997 before they joined the tournament.

Victory in Rome, combined with France defeating Scotland in Paris, would give the Irish third-place - a reasonable return given the number of injuries they have endured in the championship.

But defeat, combined with a French win, would thrust them into contention for the wooden spoon.

Teams:

Italy:

15-Andrea Masi, 14-Giovanbattista Venditti, 13-Gonzalo Canale, 12-Gonzalo Garcia, 11-Luke McLean, 10-Luciano Orquera, 9-Edoardo Gori, 8-Sergio Parisse, 7-Simone Favaro, 6-Alessandro Zanni, 5-Joshua Furno, 4-Quintin Geldenhuys, 3-Lorenzo Cittadini, 2-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1-Andrea Lo Cicero.

Substitutes: 16-Davide Giazzon, 17-Michele Rizzo, 18-Alberto De Marchi, 19-Antonio Pavanello, 20-Francesco Minto, 21-Paul Derbyshire, 22-Tobias Botes, 23-Tommaso Benvenuti.

Ireland:

15 Rob Kearney; 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Keith Earls; 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray; 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahoney; 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Mike McCarthy; 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.

Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Iain Henderson, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Luke Fitzgerald, 23 Ian Madigan.

Read more on:    six nations  |  jonathan sexton  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 03 February 2018
Wales v Scotland, Principality Stadium 16:15
France v Ireland, Stade de France 18:45
Sunday, 04 February 2018
Italy v England, Stadio Olimpico 17:00
Saturday, 10 February 2018
Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium 16:15
England v Wales, Twickenham 18:45
Vote

Who will win the 2017 Six Nations title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.