Eddie O’Sullivan has announced the team which will play Italy in the opening game of the 2008 Six Nations at Croke Park. The team sees Geordan Murphy welcomed back to the starting line-up on the left wing. Eion Reddan will also start next to and in-form Ronan O’Gara.
Both John Hayes and captain Brian O’Driscoll will win their 80th caps on the day with Malcolm O’Kelly extending the all time record to 92 caps.
Full team as follows:
Jerry Flannery, Ireland and Munster’s choice hooker will miss the entire Six Nations after being banned for a stamping incident less than three weeks ago.
The punishment is an 8 week suspension after Flannery was cited in a Munster and Clermont Auvergne match.
Flannery does have the right to appeal and according to Munster coach Declan Kidney “We are very disappointed with the outcome and are considering an appeal”.
11 days and counting until Ireland open this years six nations against Italy. There is a sense of uncertainty in the air this year, as Ireland enter on the back of a disappointingly World Cup campaign. Changes are needed and according to Keith Wood “Ireland need fresh blood”
The squad is as follows:
Neil Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Rory Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster), Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster), Continue reading