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PRO12 Teams: O'Driscoll injured for Leinster

Updated: Friday, 04 Oct 2013 14:29 | Comments

Brian O'Driscoll injured his calf and sits out the trip to Munster with eyes on next week's Heineken Cup clash at Ospreys Paul O'Connell was back in action for Munster's 23-9 victory over the Newport Gwent Dragons at Musgrave Park
Brian O'Driscoll injured his calf and sits out the trip to Munster with eyes on next week's Heineken Cup clash at Ospreys Paul O'Connell was back in action for Munster's 23-9 victory over the Newport Gwent Dragons at Musgrave Park

Brian O'Driscoll has been ruled out of the Leinster team to face Munster in Saturday evening's RaboDirect PRO12 clash at Thomond Park, kick-off 6.45pm.

The Leinster centre picked up a minor calf strain in training this week and as a result, misses the trip to Limerick.

O’Driscoll will be assessed by the medical team over the coming days regarding his availability for next week's opening Heineken Cup clash away to the Ospreys.

Jamie Heaslip will lead Leinster for the 15th time on what will be his 168th appearance for the province. The Naas man is named in a back-row which includes fellow Ireland international Kevin McLaughlin and the returning Sean O'Brien.

Mike McCarthy locks down alongside Devin Toner in an all-Ireland qualified pack, with Cian Healy named in the front-row alongside Sean Cronin and Mike Ross.

Ian Madigan starts at out-half and will make his 85th appearance and he will link up with Eoin Reddan at half back.

The squad are boosted by the return of several players including Australian Lote Tuqiri who starts at outside centre alongside Gordon D'Arcy in a new-look midfield. Meanwhile, last year's Young Player of the Year Jordi Murphy has undergone a procedure on an ankle injury and will be out for a number of weeks.

The back three is unchanged with Rob Kearney continuing at full-back alongside his brother Dave and Fergus McFadden.

Luke Fitzgerald is named on the bench having been side-lined since the opening round victory over the Scarlets and he is included fellow backs Isaac Boss and Jimmy Gopperth. Dominic Ryan's next appearance will be his 50th in Leinster colours.

Leinster XV (v Munster): R Kearney, F McFadden, L Tuqiri, G D'Arcy, D Kearney, I Madigan, E Reddan; C Healy, S Cronin, M Ross, M McCarthy, D Toner, K McLaughlin, S O'Brien, J Heaslip (capt)

Paul O’Connell will make his first start of the season after being named in the Munster side to take on Leinster at Thomond Park on Saturday, kick-off 6:45pm.

O'Connell returned to Munster action last weekend against Newport Gwent Dragons, while Felix Jones will also make his first start of the year against the Donnybrook-based side.

And Munster coach Rob Penney is also boosted by the return of BJ Botha and Conor Murray to the match-day squad as both players have recovered from injury.

Murray has recovered from a toe injury, while Botha sustained a knee injury in Munster's pre-season game against London Irish but has made a speedy recovery and will join Murray on the bench.

Leinster team news to follow.

Munster : F Jones; K Earls, C Laulala, J Downey, S Zebo; I Keatley, D Williams; D Kilycoyne, M Sherry, S Archer; D Ryan, P O'Connell; P O'Mahony (capt), N Ronan, J Coughlan.

Replacements: Damien Varley, James Cronin, BJ Botha, Donncha O'Callaghan, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, JJ Hanrahan, Denis Hurley.

Ireland winger, Andrew Trimble, has recovered from injury and is included in the Ulster team to face Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium tomorrow night, kick-off 7.05pm.

Trimble underwent surgery on his finger three weeks ago and starts on the right wing in place of Tommy Bowe, who has failed to recover from a dead leg he sustained in the bonus-point win over Treviso at Ravenhill last Friday.

Ulster head coach, Mark Anscombe, has made four changes in total. Captain Johann Muller returns, while Declan Fitzpatrick is selected at tighthead having recovered from the injury that he picked up against Connacht in Galway.

In the only other change, Nick Williams, who signed a new two-year deal with the province this week, starts at Number 8, with Roger Wilson moving to the bench.

Ireland international centre, Stuart Olding is selected among the substitutes and is in line to make his first appearance of the season.

Ulster beat the Ospreys at the Liberty stadium last year, but the Welsh region have won their last 10 home games and are one of two unbeaten sides in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season.

Ulster: C Gilroy, A Trimble, J Payne, L Marshall, M Allen, P Jackson, P Marshall; T Court, R Best, D Fitzpatrick J Muller (captain), D Tuohy, R Diack, C Henry, N Williams.

Replacements: R Herring, C Black, B Ross, I Henderson, R Wilson, M Heaney, S Olding, D Cave.

Connacht head coach Pat Lam has made a number of changes to the starting XV from last week’s loss to the Ospreys when the Westerners face Benetton Treviso on Friday night at Stadio Monigo, kick-off 7:30pm Irish Time.

Up front, props Brett Wilkinson and Nathan White move to the replacements bench and make way for Rodney Ah You and Ronan Loughney. Lock Aly Muldowney, who made quite an impression from the bench in last week's 26-43 home defeat, replaces the injured Michael Swift. Muldowney partners Craig Clarke who captain's the side. George Naoupu starts at No. 8.

In the backs, Tiernan O'Halloran and Fionn Carr are named on the wings while Danie Poolman moves to outside centre to partner Eoin Griffin. Dan Parks starts at out-half and will be joined by Paul O'Donohoe, who makes his first start at scrum half this season.

From the replacements bench, Mata Fifita and Jack Carty are in line to make their first competitive appearance of the season.

CONNACHT: G Duffy, T O'Halloran, D Poolman, E Griffin, F Carr, D Parks, P O'Donohoe, R Ah You, S Henry, R Loughney, A Muldowney, C Clarke (capt), A Browne, J Heenan, G Naoupu

Replacements: J Rael, B Wilkinson, N White, J Muldoon, M Fifita, K Marmion, J Carty, M Healy.

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