Back row blow: Sean O'Brien ruled out of Pro12 final clash with Ulster

Warren Gatland revealed that the openside’s knee is badly bruised, but Brian O’Driscoll is set to return this week.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

LEINSTER WILL BE without Sean O’Brien for this Saturday’s RaboDirect Pro12 Grand Final against Ulster in the RDS.

The Ireland and Lions back row sustained a bruised knee in Friday’s Amlin Challenge Cup final win over Stade Francais and though the province rated him at ’50/50′ in UCD today, Lions coach Warren Gatland has been told he will be out for a matter of weeks.

“Injuries are not too bad at the moment.” Gatland said as he fielded questions in this week’s base at Carton House.

“Sean O’Brien has had a bit of a knock to the knee on Friday he has come in today to be looked at by the medics. Hopefully he’s going to spend [all of] this week with us.”

Asked the extent of O’Brien’s knock, the Kiwi added: “A bit of swelling, a bit of bone-bruising by the account. They [Leinster’s medical team] are saying a couple of weeks maybe. We’re just hoping it is not longer than that.”

Coincidentally, and fortuitously, the Lions’ only other injury concern in the midst of a frantic final fortnight of the season is O’Brien’s Leinster and Ireland team-mate, Brian O’Driscoll.

The Lions captain of 2005 missed out on the Challenge Cup success after suffering a back spasm against Glasgow a week previous. However, he is expected to be fit when Ulster arrive in Dublin looking for their third win from three meetings with the eastern province this season.


Gatland says: “Brian O’Driscoll is hoping to be playing this week. We’ve been quite lucky at the moment, managed not to pick up too many injuries.

“Fingers crossed the two finals [Premiership and Pro12] this week, guys can turn up on Sunday and fly out on Monday.”

Leinster’s medics have today also expressed hope that Richardt Strauss will shake off a shoulder injury for the final of the season which has today been declared a sell-out.

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Sean Farrell

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