views

RUGBY UNION | In Brief

O’Gara returns for Ireland opener
IRELAND’S legendary fly-half Ronan O’Gara will reclaim the No10 shirt in the opening game of their Grand Slam defence, against Italy on Saturday.

O’Gara comes in for Jonathan Sexton, who starred in the November win over world champions South Africa but misses out with a dead leg.

Leinster flanker Kevin McLaughlin is the only new cap in the side, replacing Stephen Ferris, while Andrew Trimble and Gordon D’Arcy get the nod ahead of Keith Earls and Paddy Wallace at wing and centre respectively.

McLaughlin, who got the nod over club mate Sean O’Brien, said of his call-up: “I would not say I am shocked. I felt like I had a chance coming into this week. It is a big step up for me this weekend but I will treat it like any other game, just get on with it and play my game.”