12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Michael Cheika and Brian O'Driscoll at today's Leinster press conference
Injured Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll is to replace his international team mate Reggie Corrigan as Leinster captain for the coming season.
O'Driscoll, currently recovering from the dislocated shoulder injury he suffered on tour with the Lions in June, has a considerable pedigree as captain of his country and the 2005 Lions. New Leinster coach Michael Cheika was happy to offer the Dubliner the role, and confirmed so at this afternoon's press conference.
"We decided to go with a person that everybody respects, and someone within our group who leads by example, and that's Brian," admitted Cheika, who, in O'Driscoll's enforced absence, has installed Argentinean international Felipe Contepomi as captain for Sunday's Celtic League clash at the Ospreys.
"Brian didn't have take the role - I'll tell you that now. But when I asked him, he was very positive about what's happening at Leinster this season.
"He was clear on how much involvement he wants with the team, even with all the other commitments he has, and that's very positive for me as coach to have that type of support from him."
The Australian coach confirmed that O'Driscoll will be assisted in his leadership duties by a collection of experienced internationals - namely Malcolm O'Kelly, Contepomi, Denis Hickie, Keith Gleeson and Guy Easterby.
A 29-man squad was confirmed today for Leinster's trip to the Ospreys' new Morfa Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 5.10pm, Setanta Sports).
Cheika will confirm his matchday squad closer to kick-off. New signings Ronan McCormack, Will Green, Bernard Jackman and Adam Byrnes have been included in the initial squad.
LEINSTER Squad: Forwards: Bernard Jackman, David Blaney, Brian Blaney, John Lyne, Johnny Wickham, Emmett Byrne, Ronan McCormack, Will Green, Adam Byrnes, Ben Gissing, Des Dillon, Ciaran Potts, Jamie Heaslip, Keith Gleeson, Simon Crawford, Niall Ronan, Eric Miller.
Backs: Guy Easterby, Brian O'Meara, Felipe Contepomi (Capt), Christian Warner, David McAllister, Eoghan Hickey, Gary Brown, Brendan Burke, James Norton, Girvan Dempsey, Kieran Lewis, Rob Kearney.