Saturday 3 December 2016

O'Driscoll ruled out

David Kelly and Hugh Farrelly

Published 15/10/2010 | 05:00

Brian O'Driscoll will not be risked in Leinster's Wembley Heineken Cup tie against Saracens tomorrow after being sidelined yet again from training yesterday.

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Although the official line persisted that an improvement to the midfield maestro's hamstring injury offered him a "50-50" chance of playing, his inability to do little more than attend yesterday's training session has effectively ensured that there will be no risks taken with Ireland's talisman.

Ireland play South Africa and New Zealand next month and neither Leinster nor the Irish management team, who consulted regularly this week, are willing to gamble with a player who has a history of troubled hamstrings.

There was better news for Leo Cullen, though, who is likely to return to the squad after a shoulder injury to provide cover for Devin Toner and Nathan Hines, while Jonny Sexton will resume goal-kicking duties after a series of kicking drills this week incurred no reaction to his quad muscle injury.

Meanwhile, Alan Quinlan and David Wallace are in line for a recall to the Munster team for their crucial clash with Toulon at Thomond Park tomorrow.

The experienced back-rowers were not in the starting line-up that went down 23-17 to London Irish in Reading last Saturday, but could be reinstated ahead of what has been described as a "must-win" clash for Tony McGahan's team.

There could also be a recall for another veteran, second-row Mick O'Driscoll, as Munster bid to address the line-out problems that hurt them against The Exiles.

Toulon director Phillipe Saint-Andre yesterday named a 27-man squad that included Jonny Wilkinson and Felipe Contepomi.

Fearsome All Black prop Carl Hayman and impressive Springbok back-row Joe van Niekerk may also figure for the visitors.

Irish Independent

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