O'Leary an injury doubt as Ireland seek to repay coach's faith
Saturday 12 February 2011
It remains to be seen whether Declan Kidney is suffering from a bad side but as Ireland prepare for the visit of France to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin tomorrow, after the painfully hard job of beating Italy in Rome last Saturday, their head coach does have a pivotal player afflicted with a bad back.
The Munster scrum-half Tomas O'Leary is struggling to overcome a back complaint and his provincial team-mate Peter Stringer has been called up as cover.
"Tomas has had a stiff back, which has not sufficiently improved over the course of the week," Paul McNaughton, Ireland's team manager, reported yesterday.
"We felt it was prudent to call up Peter. Tomas is not ruled out of the game, but we will wait and see how he progresses over the next 48 hours before making any decisions on changes to the match-day 22."
If O'Leary does fail to make it, Ireland will field two changes to the XV who snatched a 13-11 victory from the jaws of a 10-11 scoreline in the final five minutes in Rome last weekend.
"Sometimes you need to back your players," Kidney said, having resisted concerted calls for major changes. "After the way they went about their business, that's what I'm doing."
France have made just the one change to their side in the wake of their 34-21 winning start against Scotland in Paris last Saturday, with Clément Poitrenaud filling the full-back berth left vacant by Damien Traille's switch to inside centre to replace the injured Maxime Mermoz.
Although the defending Six Nations champions returned to free-flowing form in their opener, Poitrenaud warned against expectations of another counter-attacking feast.
"People should not count on me to run every ball that comes to me," the Toulouse player said. "It is imperative that we don't focus solely on running it and to realise that we will have to kick the ball as well."
Ireland: L Fitzgerald; F McFadden, B O'Driscoll (capt), G D'Arcy, K Earls; J Sexton, T O'Leary; C Healy, R Best, M Ross, D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell, S O'Brien, D Wallace, J Heaslip.
Replacements: S Cronin, T Court, L Cullen, D Leamy, E Reddan, R O'Gara, P Wallace.
France: C Poitrenaud; Y Huget, A Rougerie, D Traille, M Medard; F Trinh-Duc, M Parra; T Domingo, W Servat, N Mas, J Pierre, L Nallet, T Dusautoir (capt), J Bonnaire, I Harinordoquy. Replacements: G Guirado, S Marconnet, J Thion, S Chabal, D Yachvili, Y Jauzion, V Clerc.
Referee: D Pearson (England).
MK Dons 4 Manchester United 0: Emmanuel Frimpong and Edin Dzeko lead the jokes as the internet reacts to humiliating defeat
Arsenal vs Besiktas: Seven reasons why Arsenal could suffer a Champions League upset
Arsenal transfer news: Could Arsene Wenger move for Danny Welbeck, Loic Remy or Edinson Cavani after Olivier Giroud's injury?
MK Dons vs Manchester United League Cup match report: Louis van Gaal is humiliated after Jonny Evans' error sparks drubbing
Fernando Torres: Chelsea striker insisting on permanent AC Milan deal - reports
- 1 Gun instructor accidentally shot dead by nine-year-old girl with Uzi gun
- 2 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 3 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?