Sunday 22 April 2018

Cullen called up for Six Nations opener

Ireland call: Leinster's Leo Cullen. Photo: Getty Images
Ireland call: Leinster's Leo Cullen. Photo: Getty Images

Ireland second row Donncha O'Callaghan has been withdrawn from the Ireland team to play Italy in Saturday's RBS Six Nations opener, after suffering a setback with a knee injury on Wednesday.

O'Callaghans's left knee was tested yesterday and a call was made this morning that he will not be fit to play in Ireland's Six Nations opener on Saturday.

O'Callaghan's injury sees Leo Cullen line out in the second row alongside Paul O'Connell, as he did against Fiji in November, for his first Six Nations appearance since he started against Wales in March 2003.

Munster's Donnacha Ryan has taken Cullen's place on the bench and is in line for his first Six Nations cap.

Ireland Team & Replacements:

15 - Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)

14 - Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)

13 - Brian O'Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)

12 - Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)

11 - Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)

10 - Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)

9 - Tomas O'Leary (Dolphin/Munster)

1 - Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)

2 - Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster)

3 - John Hayes (Bruff/Munster)

4 - Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster)

5 - Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster)

6 - Kevin McLaughlin (St. Mary's College/Leinster)

7 - David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)

8 - Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)

Replacements:

16 - Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)

17 - Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)

18 - Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)

19 - Sean O'Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)

20 - Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)

21 - Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)

22 - Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)

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