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O’Kelly Announces Retirement From Rugby

O’Kelly Announces Retirement From Rugby

Leinster and Ireland lock Malcolm O’Kelly has decided to hang up his boots at the end of the current season, making the announcement as Michael Cheika’s men prepare for Saturday’s Magners League semi-final showdown with Munster.

The Leinster squad to face Munster in Saturday’s Magners League semi-final tie at the RDS (kick-off 8pm) has been named.

Long-serving lock Malcolm O’Kelly has announced that he will retire from competitive action at the end of the season.

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The 35-year-old O’Kelly made his Leinster debut in February 1995 and is Leinster’s most-capped player with 186 appearances, including 10 tries.

The Templeogue man made 92 Ireland appearances and is included in the extended panel for Saturday’s interprovincial derby.

Fresh from a 17-point haul in last Sunday’s bonus point victory over Edinburgh, Isa Nacewa has also been included in the squad alongside try scorers Cian Healy, Shane Horgan, Stephen Keogh and Rob Kearney.

Winger Horgan’s 41st-minute try in the 37-28 victory was his 31st in league action for Leinster, moving him into second place in the competition’s list of all-time top try scorers.

Leinster will take to the pitch on Saturday night without their regular captain Leo Cullen, who misses out due to the shoulder injury he sustained in the Edinburgh game.

But young flanker Sean O’Brien is poised to make his comeback from a broken leg and out-half Jonathan Sexton, who has been nursing a jaw injury, has been named in the 30-man panel.

Gordon D’Arcy, who sustained a heavy blow to the head in the win over Edinburgh, and Shaun Berne, who was a late withdrawal from Sunday’s side due to a quad muscle injury, are also in contention to make the matchday cut.
Saturday’s semi-final is expected to be a sell out and it is unlikely that there will be any tickets on general sale. Leinster coach Michael Cheika will confirm his starting line-up and replacements on Friday afternoon.

LEINSTER Squad (v Munster) – Backs (14): Shaun Berne, Gordon D’Acy, Girvan Dempsey, Shane Horgan, Rob Kearney, Simon Keogh, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden, Isa Nacewa, Paul O’Donohoe, Brian O’Driscoll, Eoin O’Malley, Eoin Reddan, Jonathan Sexton.

Forwards (16): John Fogarty, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Nathan Hines, Trevor Hogan, Shane Jennings, Stephen Keogh, Kevin McLaughlin, Sean O’Brien, Malcolm O’Kelly, Mike Ross, Rhys Ruddock, Dominic Ryan, Richardt Strauss, CJ van der Linde, Stan Wright.