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It's great to be back - O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll will lead Ireland in Saturday's clash with France at the Aviva Stadium.

O'Driscoll will make his first appearance of the summer after recovering from the neck/shoulder injury that forced him to sit out the defeats to Scotland and France.

The 32-year-old lines up at outside centre in what is virtually Ireland's strongest XV.

Gordon D'Arcy joins O'Driscoll in the midfield after completing his recovery from ankle surgery.

With Rob Kearney ruled out for one week because of a groin strain, Felix Jones makes his first start at full-back. Andrew Trimble, who has impressed over the last two weekends, retains his place on the right wing with Keith Earls taking the number 11 jersey.

What appears to be coach Declan Kidney's first choice half-pack pairing of Jonathan Sexton and Tomas O'Leary have been recalled after sitting out the 19-12 defeat by France last Saturday.

In the pack, openside David Wallace makes his first appearance of the summer. Paul O'Connell and Jamie Heaslip will start after coming off the bench in Bordeaux, while the front row of Cian Healy, Rory Best and Mike Ross is given another run out.

Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris makes a welcome return to the bench after winning his lengthy battle with a knee problem.

Ireland team to play France: F Jones (Munster); A Trimble (Ulster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), G D'Arcy (Leinster), K Earls (Munster); J Sexton (Leinster), T O'Leary (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), P O'Connell (Munster), S O'Brien (Leinster), D Wallace (Munster), J Heaslip (Leinster).

Replacements: J Flannery (Munster), T Court (Ulster), M McCarthy (Connacht), S Ferris (Ulster), E Reddan (Leinster), R O'Gara (Munster), L Fitzgerald (Leinster).


From Belfast Telegraph