O’Connell Captains Ireland Against Italy
21st August 2007 By Munster Rugby
In the absence of Brian O’Driscoll, sidelined with a facial injury sustained in the game in Bayonne, Paul O’Connell is given the captain’s armband for the game against Italy in Ravenhill.
With the exception of O’Driscoll and the other injured pair, Shane Horgan and David Wallace, the selection looks very much along the lines of what coach Eddie O’Sullivan will play in the crucial World cup games against France and Argentina.
When O’Driscoll is fit again he will partner Gordon D’Arcy in the centre, Shane Horgan will replace Girvan Dempsey on the wing and probably drop to the bench at the expense of Brian Carney who is named there for the Ravenhill encounter.
A return to fitness of David Wallace will see him oust Neil Best from the openside berth.
Ireland: Girvan Dempsey; Geordan Murphy, Andrew Trimble, Gordon D’Arcy, Denis Hickie; Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Rory Best, John Hayes; Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell (Capt); Simon Easterby, Neil Best, Denis Leamy.
Replacements: Jerry Flannery, Simon Best, Malcolm O’Kelly, Stephen Ferris, Isaac Boss, Paddy Wallace, Brian Carney