Sean O'Brien to return on Friday ahead of Six Nations finale

Sean O'Brien will make his long-awaited return from injury on Friday, writes Stephen Barry.

The flanker, who had surgery on a hip injury he sustained against the Exeter Chiefs in December, will captain Leinster away to the Scarlets.

O'Brien's return for the match delayed by Storm Emma puts him in with an outside chance of facing England in Ireland's final Six Nations game on St Patrick's Day.

Ireland's back-row against Wales featured Peter O'Mahony, Dan Leavy and CJ Stander, with Jack Conan sprung from the bench. Jordi Murphy is reported to be in contention for a replacement spot this week.

With Josh van der Flier ruled out of the championship, O'Brien may be more likely to provide injury cover, if required.

Joe Schmidt is expected to start Garry Ringrose on Saturday against Scotland in similar circumstances. He played for Leinster two weeks ago to prove his fitness, while Robbie Henshaw and Chris Farrell have picked up injuries.

O'Brien was one of three Irish players to start every game for the Lions last summer, alongside Tadhg Furlong and Conor Murray, but has played only six times since then, including two of Ireland's autumn internationals.

The Leinster team is as follows (caps in brackets):

15. Dave Kearney (120)

14. Barry Daly (21)

13. Rory O'Loughlin (35)

12. Noel Reid (96)

11. James Lowe (7)

10. Ross Byrne (43)

9. Nick McCarthy (20)

1. Ed Byrne (20)

2. Bryan Byrne (24)

3. Michael Bent (102)

4. Ross Molony (58)

5. Scott Fardy (15)

6. Josh Murphy (6)

7. Seán O'Brien (114) CAPTAIN

8. Jack Conan (67)

16. James Tracy (56)

17. Peter Dooley (45)

18. Adam Coyle (1)

19. Mick Kearney (31)

20. Max Deegan (14)

21. Charlie Rock (1)

22. Ciarán Frawley (2)

23. Adam Byrne (33)

Related Articles

9 pictures of Ireland fans having the best time as their side won the Grand Slam on St Patrick’s Day

'Sky is the limit' for Stockdale and Ireland

Rory Best: 'It's the stuff dreams are made of. It's the biggest highlight of my career'

Eddie Jones on being booed by fans: ‘I'll listen to it later to put me to sleep’

More in this Section

Ireland Women end Six Nations with 22-point defeat to England

Five things we learned on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival

Confirmed: Champions Cup rugby returning to free-to-air TV for first time in 12 years

Kerry legend Micko inspires Cork champs Nemo ahead of All-Ireland final

Today's Stories

Ireland’s belief in the process comes from belief in Joe Schmidt

Limerick dig in to earn a point against Cork City

Ireland’s belief in the process comes from belief in Joe Schmidt

The Big Interview: How Robbie O’Dwyer found a home from home at Nemo Rangers


The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner