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Leinster Welcome Back O’Driscoll And O’Kelly

Leinster Welcome Back O’Driscoll And O’Kelly

Having both been named in Leinster’s squad for their Magners League trip to Glasgow, captain Brian O’Driscoll and his Ireland team-mate Malcolm O’Kelly are set to return to action for the first time since Ireland’s exit from the World Cup.

Both O’Driscoll and O’Kelly are in line to play in Friday’s game at Firhill and make their seasonal bows for Leinster. Former Ireland Under-21 international Fionn Carr has also been added to the province’s panel to face the Scottish side.

Coach Michael Cheika, who was left disappointed by Leinster’s performance in their 52-23 defeat to Llanelli last week, said: “We’re delighted to welcome back both Brian and Malcolm from Ireland duty. They’ve been around for training and I suppose it’s a bit of a re-start for them as it’s the first time that they will have played with the new players who have joined the squad.

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“The players who were away at the World Cup have shown a real hunger to get back and play for Leinster and it will be a further boost when the other Ireland players join the squad for the following game (against Ulster).”

There is disappointment for another Irish international however as lock Trevor Hogan has had to undergo surgery on a knee cartilage injury and is likely to miss the opening rounds of Leinster’s Heineken Cup campaign, which begins with a home tie against Leicester Tigers on November 10.

Winger Gary Brown picked up a foot injury in the Llanelli game and is also unavailable for selection, while both Leo Cullen, who has been standing in as skipper for O’Driscoll, and Chris Whitaker are rated as doubtful.

Commenting on the injuries on the game against Glasgow, Cheika said: “It’s obviously a blow to lose Trevor and Gary because their recent performances have been of a high standard. Fergus McFadden is okay, but we’ll have to wait and see on how both Leo and Chris are this week.

“Glasgow have built up quite nicely over the summer after probably finishing last year’s league campaign as the in-form team. They’re always difficult to beat and the last time we played in Firhill we struggled to beat them. “Daryl Gibson has made a promising start in their midfield and they have definitely reinforced. Without disrespecting the opposition, the challenge for us this week is about how we perform ourselves.

“That first defeat of the season (against Llanelli) and the loss of our (16-match) home record has affected the players because that’s something they’re proud of, but the win away in Cardiff has given us the belief to win on the road. “The Magners League is more competitive this year and all the teams can beat each other which makes it interesting,” he added.

LEINSTER Squad: Forwards – Stan Wright, Juan Francisco Gomez, Cian Healy, Stephen Knoop, Brian Blaney, Bernard Jackman, Leo Cullen, Malcolm O’Kelly, Devin Toner, Cameron Jowitt, Kevin McLaughlin, Stephen Keogh, Jamie Heaslip, Keith Gleeson, Shane Jennings.

Backs – Chris Whitaker, Chris Keane, Cillian Willis, Jonathan Sexton, Christian Warner, Brian O’Driscoll, Fergus McFadden, Fionn Carr, Rob Kearney, Luke Fitzgerald, Ross McCarron.