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O'Driscoll on track to make Euro showdown – Easterby


Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll


Brian O'Driscoll

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL is expected to return to training today, according to Leinster team manager Guy Easterby.

O'Driscoll is continuing to rehab from the back spasm that limited his involvement in the Pro12 semi-final win over Glasgow Warriors to just 12 minutes.

He hasn't trained this week and didn't travel to London for a Lions get-together on Monday.

Easterby was cautiously optimistic yesterday that the Leinster talisman will be fit for tomorrow night's Amlin Challenge Cup final against Stade Francais at the RDS.

"We're pretty confident that Brian will be available," he said. "He didn't train on Tuesday but the information to hand is that he will train (today) and be available for selection."

Leinster are scheduled to announce their starting team at lunchtime today. If O'Driscoll is ruled out, it is probable Fergus McFadden will partner Ian Madigan in the centre.

"Ian has not played much at 12 but has done in some pretty big games recently and he is very adaptable in the way he plays," added Easterby.

"Fergus is a class player, so if he had to fit in there we would be confident that he could do it."

Dave Kearney is expected to be included in the Leinster squad after recovering from the concussion suffered in the Pro12 game against Munster when he was knocked unconscious and could even start on the wing if O'Driscoll is ruled out.

Meanwhile, Stade Francais scrum-half Julien Dupuy should be fit to play as the French "minnows" prepare to down the "ogre".

Dupuy, suspended for 24 weeks after gouging Ulster's Stephen Ferris in a 2009 Heineken Cup pool match, tweeted that his calf problem was responding positively to oxygen treatment.

Centre Jeremy Sinzelle has attempted to rally his troops against three-time Heineken Cup champions Leinster, the overwhelming favourites.

"We are outsiders and have nothing to lose," says Sinzelle. "The minnows can get the ogre."

Coach Christophe Laussucq, a veteran of the late-1990s Heineken Cup clashes between these sides, admitted that his side are not expected to win.

"I guess the odds will not be much in our favour. We will go to play the game of our lives. It's up to us to make them struggle," he said.

Irish Independent