O’Driscoll returns for Leinster

After the drama of last week’s 6 Nations games in Dublin, Twickenham, Rome and Cardiff back to the RaboDirectPRO12 this weekend . Leinster’s team to meet the Osprey’s at the RDS (KO:7.05) was announced this morning and the ‘big news’ is the very welcome return of Brian O’Driscoll.

O’Driscoll will make his first appearance for the province after making significant progress in recent weeks following injury and he will partner fellow Ireland international Fergus McFadden at centre for the visit of the Welsh side.
Isaac Boss links up with Ian Madigan at half back with David Kearney forming a lively back three alongside Luke Fitzgerald – who is set to make his 99th provincial appearance – and full-back Isa Nacewa.

Up front, Leo Cullen will captain the side for the first time since January after recovering from Achilles surgery and he will lock down with All Black World Cup winner Brad Thorn who makes his debut after signing a short-term deal with the province recently.

Rhys Ruddock joins fellow Leinster Academy graduate Dominic Ryan as well as number eight Leo Auva’a in the back-row.

Sean Cronin is one of eight Irish qualified players named on the bench including the likes of Kevin McLaughlin and Eoin O’Malley.

Ticket sales for Friday’s game have passed the 17,300 mark and are still on sale fromwww.leinsterrugby.ie, the Leinster Rugby Store (Donnybrook), Spar (Donnybrook) as well as Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. Supporters are advised to use public transport as there are a number of other functions taking place around the RDS.


15: Isa Nacewa
14: David Kearney
13: Brian O’Driscoll
12: Fergus McFadden
11: Luke Fitzgerald
10: Ian Madigan
9: Isaac Boss

1: Heinke van der Merwe
2: Richardt Strauss
3: Nathan White
4: Leo Cullen CAPTAIN
5: Brad Thorn
6: Rhys Ruddock
7: Dominic Ryan
8: Leo Auva’a


16: Sean Cronin
17: Jack McGrath
18: Jamie Hagan
19: Damian Browne
20: Kevin McLaughlin
21: John Cooney
22: Eoin O’Malley
23: Fionn Carr

Meanwhile, Leinster Rugby reminds fans that there are just 24 hours left for Season Ticket Holders who wish to renew to keep their seats for 2012/13 season. Already over 6,300 supporters have renewed for next season and to renew just log into your account on www.leinsterrugby.ie and choose the payment option.

The Ospreys have also announced their side this morning:

15 Richard Fussell

14 Hanno Dirksen

13 Andrew Bishop

12 Ashley Beck

11 Eli Walker

10 Dan Biggar

9 Kahn Fotuali’i

1 Paul James

2 Richard Hibbard

3 Aaron Jarvis

4 Ryan Jones

5 Alan Wyn Jones (Capt)

6 Tom Smith

7 Justin Tipuric

8 George Stowers

For the Ospreys. Ian Evans will make his 100th Ospreys appearance if/when he comes off the bench.

Head Coach Steve Tandy added:

““Leinster away is always a big ask. Their home record in this competition speaks for itself so we know what to expect out there. But, we’ve won there before and there are plenty of players in this group with that experience to fall back on so although we are still a pretty young group, we believe in each other and our own ability.

“After a disappointing performance last time out it’s important that we show the right attitude. It’s really tight in and around the play-off spots and things are likely to change after every weekend now, so we just have to go out and do what we need to do and not worry about anything else.”

SportsNewsIRELAND will keep you updated with all the news and scores from the RDS


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