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Sean O'Brien in line for London Irish debut after 10 months out

Springbok lock Lood de Jager will also make his Sale debut in the match.

O'Brien at Croke Park last summer.
O'Brien at Croke Park last summer.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

SEAN O’BRIEN HAS been deemed fit to play for the first time since hip surgery denied him the chance play in Ireland’s World Cup campaign.

The former Leinster flanker, whose last appearance came 10 months ago in the Champions Cup final loss to Saracens, will start at blindside flanker when London Irish travel to face Sale Sharks in the Premiership tomorrow (kick-off 8pm).

O’Brien signed a three-year deal with the Exiles in the second half of last season and Declan Kidney’s side have consistently expressed a willingness to give him time to regain fitness.

Tweet by @London Irish Source: London Irish/Twitter

The 33-year-old remained under contract with the IRFU for the early portion of this season and so was able to undertake his rehab with Leinster for a time before moving to England. He is joined in the back row by academy flanker Ben Donnell and number 8 Albert Tuisue.

Wallaby international Sekope Kepu starts at tighthead prop, while former Ulster lock Franco van der Merwe captains the side.

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The Exiles sit eighth in the Premiership table, but will kick off just seven points behind the second-placed Sharks, who boast a debutant of their own in Springbok World Cup-winner Lood de Jager.

Tweet by @Sale Sharks🦈 Source: Sale Sharks🦈/Twitter

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to discuss why the Six Nations’ potential move behind a subscription-TV paywall is a “horrendous” idea, and the problems faced by Ireland and other countries in retaining players beyond the U20s age grade

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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