Sean O’Brien made his debut on an otherwise miserable night for London Irish as they suffered a 39-0 English Premiership loss to Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The Tullow Tank made his return 10 months after undergoing hip surgery following his final game for Leinster in last May’s Champions Cup final, having missed Ireland’s World Cup campaign.
He made an early impression for Declan Kidney’s men, however, completing a turnover as Sale mounted an attack in the Irish 22.
O’Brien lasted 48 minutes in all, before being replaced by Blair Cowan with Sale 15-0 to the good.
Tries from Sam James (2), Luke James, Rob Webber, Denny Solomona, and Byron McGuigan saw Sale jump to the top of the table for the time being, ahead of Exeter Chiefs, who face Bath on Saturday.