Tuesday, November 2, 2010

O'Driscoll fit to face Springboks

Ireland v South Africa
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday 6 November Kick-off: 1730 GMT Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Sport Website and BBC Radio Ulster MW; text commentary on BBC Sport website

South Africa's Danie Rossouw tackles Brian O'Driscoll 12 months ago
Brian O'Driscoll in action against South Africa at Croke Park last November

Brian O'Driscoll has been passed fit to start for Ireland in Saturday's opening autumn Test against South Africa at the Aviva Stadium.

O'Driscoll has recovered from a hamstring injury and will be partnered at centre by Gordon D'Arcy.

Jonathan Sexton and Eoin Reddan are the half-backs with Luke Fitzgerald handed one of the wing berths.

Cian Healy edges out Tom Court for loose-head prop which leaves Rory Best and Stephen Ferris as Ulster starters.

Sexton hit all Ireland's points in last November's 15-10 win over the world champions at Croke Park and the Leinster fly-half holds off the claims of Ronan O'Gara for the number 10 shirt.

Tomas O'Leary's unavailability because of injury opens the door to Reddan with Peter Stringer named on the bench.

Best starts at hooker having missed Ireland's summer tour of Australia and New Zealand.


Tony Buckley completes the Irish front row alongside Best and Healy with Ulster's Court having to be content with a place on the bench.

Ferris holds the challenge from Denis Leamy to start in the back row with David Wallace and Jamie Heaslip.

Fitzgerald will be making his first international start in a year after sustaining a serious knee injury against Australia 12 months ago.

Tommy Bowe and Rob Kearney complete the Irish back three with Ulster players Andrew Trimble and Paddy Wallace included in an extended replacements list because of continuing fitness doubts over Keith Earls.

With Paul O'Connell ruled out by injury, Mick O'Driscoll will partner Donncha O'Callaghan in the second row.

O'Driscoll has been not played since suffering a hamstring pull in a Heineken Cup game on 9 October but he came through training sessions unscathed on Monday and Tuesday.

Ireland: R Kearney; T Bowe, B O'Driscoll (capt), G D'Arcy, L Fitzgerald; J Sexton, E Reddan; C Healy, R Best, T Buckley; D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll; S Ferris, D Wallace, J Heaslip.

Replacements: S Cronin, T Court, D Ryan, D Leamy, P Stringer, R O'Gara, K Earls or A Trimble or P Wallace.

Potenshöjande medel -

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