The big second row's international career appeared to be all but over when Joe Schmidt cut him loose from the Ireland squad that would travel to Japan for the World Cup but he starts for the first time in six months for his country on Sunday against England in Twickenham.
So much for stormy weather. The clouds may have been gathering around Ireland as they prepared to face Grand Slam champions Wales in Dublin, and not just those being blown in by Storm Ciara. Yet when Johnny Sexton speaks, all becomes calm.
Three minutes to go at the Aviva Stadium. Ireland are seven points up on the Scots in last Saturday’s Six Nations opener but camped along their own try line when Hamish Watson makes another surge for the in-goal area and hero status with it.