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Lions trio return for Leinster
ESPN Staff
January 3, 2013
Leinster Luke Fitzgerald dives in to score one of his two tries against Bath, Leinster v Bath, Heineken Cup, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, December 17, 2011
Luke Fitzgerald is back in the Leinster team for the first time since April © PA Photos
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Leinster have included Ireland stars Brian O'Driscoll, Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney in the XV for their match with Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Friday evening.

The trio, who were all capped by the British & Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa in 2009, have all been sidelined recently but Joe Schmidt has included all three Ireland internationals in his line-up for their match against the Scottish side. Fitzgerald last played for Leinster in April 2012 when he took to the field against Clermont Auvergne. But that match proved to be his last for the men in blue until Saturday's game as he was forced to undergo surgery on a persistent neck problem.

Kearney has played just 32 minutes of rugby this season for Leinster but picked up a back injury which ruled him out for around eight weeks back in October. He missed Ireland's autumn Test series but will now hope to be back in international reckoning in time for the forthcoming Six Nations.

And O'Driscoll, who has been linked with the Lions' captaincy role for the summer tour to Australia, is back in the side after sustaining an ankle injury at the end of October. He starts at outside centre for Leinster in a side that also features other Ireland internationals.

Sean O'Brien, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip and skipper Leo Cullen all start in the pack while O'Driscoll will line up alongside the likes of Jonathan Sexton and Gordon D'Arcy in the centres. Ireland coach Declan Kidney will likely be keeping a close eye on the returning trio's progress ahead of their first Six Nations match against Wales on February 2.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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