Cork Con leave Kelly on bench

 

RUGBY/All-Ireland League semi-finals: If not before this week, Irish right wing John Kelly now understands what a cold place the game of rugby can be. The double-try scorer in his Ireland debut against Italy last month has been left out of the starting line-up for Cork Constitution's game against Garryowen at Temple Hill on Saturday.

Instead right wing Derek Dillon will start the AIB All-Ireland semi-final match with international Anthony Horgan on the other wing. Coach Brian Hickey has also brought in Irish hooker Frankie Sheahan to the scrum for John Fogarty, who was not available due to injury for their last match, with Ronan O'Gara and Brian O'Meara unsurprisingly forming the half-back pairing.

Also named in the team is Munster second row Mick O'Driscoll, who did not train on Tuesday night but is expected to be fit for the semi-final.

"Johnny Kelly will be on the bench," said Hickey. "John is fit and this team is the selection for this match. Derek has been playing particularly well in all of our matches. He has been our most consistent back this season and he has been our top try scorer on the right wing. We just feel he has been performing and he has earned his place on the team.

"Mick (O'Driscoll) didn't train with us as we were waiting on medical advice. But I'm confident that he will be alright to play at the weekend. John Fogarty was unavailable for the last match as he was injured and the decision to play Frankie (Sheahan) from the start for this game was a tight one," said Hickey.

Regarding Munster's European Cup semi-final against Castres in just over a fortnight, there will be no statement from management until today at the earliest on the injury to prop Peter Clohessy following an accident at his Limerick home in Lisnagry on Monday. The 36-year-old suffered burns to his face and an arm for which he received hospital treatment.

"We won't be saying anything until we know the facts," said Munster PRO Pat Geraghty. "We just don't want this thing to turn into a saga of Peter Clohessy's arm like Dan Donnelly's arm stuck up in The Hideout in Kilcullen."

CORK CONSTITUTION (v Garryowen): B Walsh; D Dillon, Conor Mahony, Cian Mahony, A Horgan; R O'Gara, B O'Meara; I Murray, F Sheahan, J O'Driscoll, D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll, J Williams, J Murray, U O'Callaghan (capt.).