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O’Driscoll Replaces O’Connell In Irish Team

O’Driscoll Replaces O’Connell In Irish Team

Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan has made one definite change for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Italy (Stadio Flaminio, kick-off 1.30pm) – Mick O’Driscoll comes in for the injured Paul O’Connell in the second row.

Paul O’Connell has been ruled out of the game due to the fractured thumb he sustained in the 19-18 win over Scotland and his Munster team-mate Mick O’Driscoll moves up from the bench to replace him – making his first RBS 6 Nations championship start for Ireland.

Leinster’s Trevor Hogan has been listed amongst the replacements for the first time in the Six Nations.

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Both Marcus Horan and Simon Best have been named at loosehead prop, with the Irish management giving Horan as much time as possible to recover from his calf strain. If he is not fit to play, Best will start again and his Ulster colleague Bryan Young will be called up for bench duty.

The team will be captained by Brian O’Driscoll for the 37th time, setting a new Irish record. The Leinster centre equalled Keith Wood’s captaincy record of 36 matches last weekend in Edinburgh.

IRELAND TEAM AND REPLACEMENTS (v Italy, RBS 6 Nations, Saturday, March 17, Stadio Flaminio, kick-off 1.30pm):

– Player/Club/Province/Caps –

15 – Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College/Leinster) 73
14 – Shane Horgan (Lansdowne/Leinster) 54
13 – Brian O’Driscoll (Blackrock College/Leinster) 73 (capt)
12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 30
11 – Denis Hickie (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 57
10 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster) 70
9 – Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster) 75
1 – Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster) 45 or Simon Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 15
2 – Rory Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 11
3 – John Hayes (Bruff/Munster) 72
4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 34
5 – Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster) 8
6 – Simon Easterby (Llanelli) 56
7 – David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster) 36
8 – Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster) 21


16 – Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster) 13
17 – Simon Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 15 or Bryan Young (Ballymena/Ulster) 5
18 – Trevor Hogan (Shannon/Leinster) 2
19 – Neil Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) 10
20 – Eoin Reddan (Wasps) 1
21 – Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster) 3
22 – Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster) 13

Not Considered Due To Injury:

Isaac Boss (Ballymena/Ulster) {shoulder}
Malcolm O’Kelly (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) {knee}
Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster) {hand}