Ireland have received a boost ahead of the 2019 Six Nations with the news that Sean O’Brien is in contention to make a return in time for the competition.
O’Brien hasn’t played since he broke his arm while playing for Ireland against Argentina during the November Internationals.
However, at today’s Captain’s Run ahead of Leinster’s Heineken Champions Cup clash with Toulouse on Saturday, head coach Leo Cullen confirmed that the Tullow native is due to return to training next week.
“Fergus McFadden making steady progress, similar to Joe Tomane,” Cullen said.
“Sean O’Brien is probably the closest of those guys to getting back. He’s due to return to training at some stage next week so we’ll see how he comes through that.”
Cullen said he expects O’Brien back “in the next couple of weeks” while also saying that he believes he could be back for Ireland’s Six Nations title defence.
“I think so, yeah [back for the Six Nation]. But we have to be careful with this crystal ball I have here.”
Cullen also said that Sexton should be fine for Ireland’s opening match against England and he hasn’t been ruled out of Leinster’s final Champions Cup clash away to Wasps next Sunday.
The eastern province have been dealt with the blow that they are missing the likes of Sexton, Dan Leavy, Rob Kearney and Devin Toner for Saturday’s afternoon’s eagerly-anticipated clash with four-time European champions Toulouse.
You can see Leinster’s team here.