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Brian O’Driscoll Captains Ireland.

Brian O’Driscoll Captains Ireland.

05/11/2002. Brian O’Driscoll will captain the Irish side for the first time when he leads them out against the Australians in Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Brian O’Driscoll was today named captain of the Irish side when the team to play Australia was announced after their morning training spin at Dr Hickey Park in Greystones.

The decision to nominate O’Driscoll as captain was made according to team manager Brian O’Brien with a view to the future.
“With Keith out through injury we obviously had to look elsewhere. We believe Brian is capable of doing the job. During the summer, on the tour of New Zealand, we encouraged him to take a more senior role and he did. He made a valauable contribution, so now we have asked him to take another step in that direction.”

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The Irish selectors have left a vacancy on the side because of the injury to Denis Hickie but they have said that they are optimistic that Hickie will be fit and will leave it until later in the week, probably Thursday, before making a final decision.

Victor Costello returns to the side after a long absence although he has been asked to play in the unfamiliar role of blindside flanker.

Ireland. G Dempsey; S Horgan, B O’Driscoll (capt), K Maggs, AN Other; R O’Gara, P Stringer; R Corrigan, S Byrne, J Hayes; G Longwell, M O’Kelly; V Costello, K Gleeson, A Foley.

Replacements: F Sheahan, P Wallace, L Cullen, A Quinlan, G Easterby, D Humphreys, AN Other.