Key men return for Ireland
September 14, 2011
Jamie Heaslip believes that Ireland are capable of beating anyone at the Rugby World Cup © Getty Images
Ireland head coach Declan Kidney has recalled fit-again Rob Kearney, Cian Healy and Sean O'Brien for Saturday's pivotal Rugby World Cup Pool C showdown with Australia in Auckland.
All three players sat out their country's tournament opener against the United States on Sunday. Kearney missed the game with a groin strain but he has been passed fit to reclaim the fullback berth from Geordan Murphy, who is struggling with a hamstring problem and has dropped out of the squad altogether.
Healy slots back in at loose-head for Tom Court after recovering from the eye injury which delayed his arrival in New Zealand, while Sean O'Brien, who strained knee ligaments in last month's warm-up loss at home to France, returns to the back-row at the expense of Denis Leamy.
The only other change to the side which defeated the Eagles 22-10 in New Plymouth comes at scrum-half, with Conor Murray making way for Eoin Reddan.
That means that Jonathan Sexton has held on to the No.10 jersey in spite of his disappointing goal-kicking display against the Americans and that Keith Earls has again been preferred to the in-form Andrew Trimble on the left wing, the latter having to again make do with a seat on the bench.
Ireland: Rob Kearney; Tommy Bowe, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Keith Earls; Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross; Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell; Stephen Ferris, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip
Replacements: Jerry Flannery, Tom Court, Donnacha Ryan, Denis Leamy; Conor Murray, Ronan O'Gara, Andew Trimble.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin