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Schmidt allays O’Driscoll injury fears

Guinness PRO12 Editor

28 Oct 2012

Brian O'Driscoll returned for Leinster but failed to make it a winning one as the Ospreys ran out 23-22 victors in Dublin

Joe Schmidt insists Brian O’Driscoll will not miss the upcoming autumn internationals after the Ireland skipper limped off during Leinster’s thumping RaboDirect PRO12 59-22 victory over Cardiff Blues.

The European champions’ huge victory was tempered by the departure of O’Driscoll on 25 minutes, shortly after he had created Jamie Heaslip’s try – Leinster’s third of the evening – with a scintillating break through the Cardiff backline. 

And with the autumn internationals on the horizon Schmidt was quick to play down the severity of the injury – admitting the substitution was made with O’Driscoll’s upcoming commitments in mind. 

Schmidt said: “He sprained his ankle. He was going to play on. In the end, we measured up the responsibilities that he has got coming up and we replaced him.

“We don’t think at this stage that it is too serious."

Leinster had the bonus point wrapped up by the time their talisman left the field, Richardt Strauss, Ian Madigan, Heaslip and Dave Kearney crossing in a devastating opening spell.

Heaslip soon added another, with Cian Healy, Jordi Murphy, Damian Browne and Fionn Carr all adding their names to the scoresheet on a clinical evening in Dublin.

But, despite the nine-try display Schmidt admits he is not getting carried away – citing the Heineken Cup hangover as a key factor in the lopsided nature of the result.

“I think it shows the evidence of an extra day’s recovery,” he said.

“We had a seven-day turnaround, they had a six-day after a tough game with Toulon.

“So I certainly wouldn’t read as much into the nine tries as it might suggest, but I do think the first half was really good value from us.

“We play Ospreys next Sunday and that will be a tough match, but both teams will be missing their internationals so it will be a tough match for all involved.”