O’Driscoll won’t play against Castres

Centre in a race to be fit in time for Ireland’s Autumn internationals against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand

Brian O’Driscoll. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Brian O’Driscoll. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Thu, Oct 17, 2013, 15:33

Brian O’Driscoll is in a race to regain fitness for Ireland’s autumn series against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand after being ruled out of Saturday’s Heineken Cup round two tie against Castres at the RDS. O’Driscoll tore his calf muscle over two weeks ago.

“Brian won’t play this week,” said Leinster coach Matt O’Connor. “He is still struggling with that calf but the medics are pretty confident he’ll be involved some time soon.”

However, when asked to elaborate, O’Connor said: “It’s a little bit loose. Calf strains are calf strains (it was initially diagnosed as a grade one tear). It is ticking the box day on day to see where he gets to.

“We hope he plays next week (against Connacht). He may or may not. It is yet to be determined. It is certainly not going to be months but who knows?”

O’Connor also confirmed that short term signing Lote Tuqiri (hamstring) and Springbok fullback Zane Kirchner (rested after Rugby Championship) will also not feature against the French champions.

Mike Ross is also highly unlikely to recover from what O’Connor termed a hamstring strain. “We’ll wait and see with Mike Ross. He has recovered, he is better but you don’t want to risk a re-strain so we’ll take it to kick-off and see then.”

The team will be released at noon tomorrow.