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Ronan O'Gara wears the number 10 jersey on Saturday against Italy
Morgan Treacy
O'Gara At 10.
2 February 2010, 1:30 pm
By Chris Byrne
Ronan O'Gara will dictate matters for Ireland on Saturday when they open the defence of their RBS Six Nations title in the game against Italy at Croke Park.
O'Gara's outstanding form for Munster allied to his performance against Australia in the autumn international rightly sees him carry on where he left off last season, driving Ireland to the Grand Slam.

Jerry Flannery who except for a club game, hasn't kicked a ball in anger since the November international against South Africa starts in the front row ahead of Rory Best, also returning from injury, who played for 40 minutes against the Saxons on Sunday.

If there is a surprise in the backline selection it's the preference for Andrew Trimble over Keith Earls while in the pack, Trimble's Ulster teammate Stephen Ferris is ruled out through injury. Jonathan Sexton was not available for selection as of Monday's training session.

Ireland: R Kearney, T Bowe, B O'Driscoll, G D'Arcy, A Trimble, R O'Gara, T O'Leary, C Healy, J Flannery, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell, K McLaughlin, D Wallace, J Heaslip. Replacements: R Best, T Court, L Cullen, S O'Brien, E Reddan, P Wallace, K Earls.

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