Wednesday 16 April 2014

Fears ease over O'Driscoll injury as Kiwi Bent gets Ireland call

Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll leaves the pitch with an injury accompanied by team doctor John Ryan. Photo: Sportsfile

IRISH rugby's biggest name should be fit to play in the November internationals and so too could a man who has never played rugby in this country before.

Brian O'Driscoll's ankle injury has proven to be less severe than first feared after the captain underwent a scan on the joint. He turned it in the first half of Leinster's 59-22 hammering of Cardiff Blues on Saturday night and, despite trying to play through the pain, was taken off after just 23 minutes.

The initial fears were for a sprain, but the tests confirmed the injury was not as bad as suspected, and although he will be monitored, the 33-year-old should be free to train ahead of the forthcoming meeting with South Africa.

While Declan Kidney spent much of the weekend sweating over his skipper's fitness, he was also arranging for New Zealander Michael Bent to be fast-tracked into his squad before ever playing a game for Leinster.

The tighthead prop, who joins the European champions from Taranaki this week, is one of seven players last night called up to the Ireland training squad for this week's sessions at Carton House and will do battle with Ulster's Declan Fitzpatrick to take a place on the bench as cover for Mike Ross against the Springboks on Saturday week at Lansdowne Road.

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