Susie jets in to help cheer injured Rob

Aoife Anderson

The French have invaded Dublin ahead of Leinster's showdown with ASM Clermont Auvergne today. Some 1,200 Clermont fans have jetted in for the match and they were in full voice around the city, enjoying local hotspots ahead of kick-off.

Leinster hero Rob Kearney is undoubtedly devastated not to be lining out at the Aviva this evening, but he still has one reason to be happy.

The 24-year-old rugby star will be joined by his girlfriend Susie Amy in the stands to watch Leinster take on Clermont in their hotly awaited second last encounter of the year.

Rob was ruled out of playing for the next few months as he continues to recover from a painful knee injury he picked up in last month's defeat by the All Blacks, for which he had to undergo surgery.

He's still hobbling around on crutches, but will be cheered up by the fact that Susie is back in the capital to keep him company.

The 29-year-old actress jetted into Dublin earlier this week in time to attend Elton John's "incredible" concert in the O2 on Wednesday night.

A spokesperson for Leinster confirmed Rob will be among the thousands of blue jersey-clad supporters in the stands.

"The players always come along to show their support for their team-mates so I'd expect all of those injured to be there."

But the lovebirds aren't expected to be among those planning to hit popular Leinster rugby haunt Krystle after the game tonight.

Anxious fans are hoping Brian O'Driscoll will help the team secure a victory in the all important showdown against the French champions after he was given the all clear to play.

The Clontarf hero (31) and Jamie Heaslip (27) are both in the starting line up, after recovering from their respective jaw and ankle injuries.

After a nail-biting wait, it was confirmed yesterday that both players will be there for the 5.45pm kick-off, though the Ireland number eight faces a late fitness test following the warm-up.

Today's game was expected to be a record pool attendance for an Irish province with more than 43,000 tickets sold and many more last-minute sales expected today. Tickets are still on sale from, Spar in Donnybrook, Champion Sports and the Official Leinster Rugby Store.

"Ticket sales have been flying this morning because it's such a big game," said a spokesperson. "The outlets will continue to sell tickets right up until kick-off. We don't know what will happen if the weather deteriorates but it's going to be an exciting game."

Leinster Rugby have also issued an appeal to all their supporters to donate to the Christmas Collection at the match, which will be in aid of the province's four official Charity Partners -- Action Breast Cancer, Age Action, Welcome Home and St Michael's House.