Wolfhounds name O’Brien

Date published: January 29 2015

Sean O’Brien has been included in the Ireland Wolfhounds team to face the England Saxons in Cork on Friday.

The Leinster back-row makes his return from long-term shoulder injury problems at openside flanker, having last played in September’s Pro12 clash against Glasgow Warriors.

Felix Jones captains Dan McFarland’s side from full-back and is joined in the back three by Fergus McFadden and Luke Fitzgerald. Keith Earls continues his recovery from knee injury at 13, outside the veteran Gordon D’Arcy.

Ian Madigan gets a chance to reacquaint himself with the fly-half position just over a week before the Six Nations opener against Italy on 7 February, partnering Connacht’s Kieran Marmion in the halfbacks.

O’Brien makes up an all-Leinster back row with Jack Conan and Dominic Ryan, while Mike McCarthy is paired with Iain Henderson in the engine room. Richardt Strauss is at hooker, as Mike Ross gets a chance in the number three shirt, while Jack McGrath returns from suspension at loosehead.

Connacht’s Nathan White is included on the bench ahead of the Six Nations, while young Eoin McKeon will hope to impress too. Isaac Boss, Noel Reid and Craig Gilroy provide cover for the backs.

Ireland Wolfhounds: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Gordon D’Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Iain Henderson 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Michael Bent, 18 Nathan White, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 Eoin McKeon, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Noel Reid, 23 Craig Gilroy.

Date: Friday, 30 January
Venue: Irish Independent Park, Cork
Kick-off: 19.45 GMT
Referee: tbc
Assistant Referees: tbc