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Dublin: 7°C Monday 12 April 2021

Pro12: Eoin O’Malley looking to pick up where he left off with Leinster

The huge loss of Brian O’Driscoll has been softened somewhat by the return of the young centre.

Eoin O'Malley is eager to get back in the Leinster squad.
Eoin O'Malley is eager to get back in the Leinster squad.
Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

EOIN O’MALLEY PLAYED his 49th game for Leinster in a 19-15 win over Glasgow Warriors at the RDS.

One week later, his teammates celebrated their third Heineken Cup in three years at Twickenham.

O’Malley was a week into a six-month recovery period from a cruciate knee injury that will hopefully conclude with his 50th cap against Ospreys on Sunday.

“I hopefully will be involved,” the centre told Leinster Rugby TV. “I just have to get through the week but it would be great to be involved come the end of the week. (It’s) pretty exciting.”

“The knee feels great,” O’Malley added. “I just have to get a bit of sharpness and get a ball in my hand. The lads are playing really well so it is just a matter of fitting (back) in.”

Going places

With Irish rugby still reeling from the limp quarter-final performance at the World Cup last season, O’Malley was one of the country’s upcoming stars to offer a promising glimpse of the future.

He scored two fantastic tries to secure a Heineken Cup bonus point and made five European appearances in all last season.

After Leinster obliterated Cardiff Blues 52-9 at the RDS in December, O’Mally appeared at the post-match briefing, sharply dressed in a shirt and tie. The talk that evening was all about becoming a fixture in the side and a call-up for the 2012 Six Nations squad.

This week, at the province’s training session at Rosemount, O’Malley reflected on how another thrashing of Cardiff gave him a reality check. He said:

That’s the thing. I knew I was trying to come back for this week and I was watching a couple (nine) tries ran in. Suddenly you feel further away and that the lads are playing at an extra level. It was great to get the bonus point though.”

If O’Malley can put in a string of decent performances in the number 13 jersey vacated by the injured Brian O’Driscoll the Six Nations talk may soon start again.

“Ospreys are a good side and they’re playing well,” he added. “We’ve still got a good group (left) here so we’ll give it a go and see what happens.

“Both of us will be missing a few to international camp but it should still be a good game.”

Michael Bent may start for Leinster ahead of Ireland’s November Series

Injury rules Brian O’Driscoll and Rory Best out of November Series

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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