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:
Ireland: G Dempsey; A Trimble, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, G Murphy; R O’Gara, E Reddan; M Horan, R Best, J Hayes, D O’Callaghan, M O’Kelly, S Easterby, D Wallace, D Leamy.
Replacements: B Jackman, T Buckley, M O’Driscoll, J Heaslip, P Stringer, P Wallace, R Kearney.