5 March 2020
Seán O’Brien will make his London Irish debut against Sale Sharks tomorrow evening in the Gallagher Premiership fixture at the AJ Bell Stadium (kick-off 8pm).
The Irish international is one of three changes from the side that hosted Wasps last weekend with Sekope Kepu and Ben Donnell also coming into the starting line-up.
Harry Elrington, Motu Matu’u and Sekope Kepu start in the front row with Adam Coleman alongside captain Franco van der Merwe. Seán O’Brien and Ben Donnell are at blindside and openside flanker respectively with Fiji international Albert Tuisue at number 8.
Ben Meehan and Stephen Myler are the half back pairing with Terrence Hepetema and Curtis Rona in the midfield. An all Academy back three of Ollie Hassell-Collins, Ben Loader and Tom Parton start together.
Saia Fainga’a, Will Goodrick-Clarke, Ollie Hoskins, Steve Mafi, Matt Rogerson and Blair Cowan are the forward replacements with Nick Phipps and Bryce Campbell covering the backs.
London Irish director of rugby, Declan Kidney is aware of the task facing his squad.
“Sale are one of the form sides in the Gallagher Premiership having won four of their five Premiership matches since the turn of the year.
“They are a formidable opponent at home, but the squad have worked hard and are relishing the challenge.”
15 Tom Parton, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Ollie Hassell Collins, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Ben Meehan, 1 Harry Elrington, 2 Motu Matu’u, 3 Sekope Kepu, 4 Franco van der Merwe ©, 5 Adam Coleman, 6 Seán O’Brien, 7 Ben Donnell 8 Albert Tuisue
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Matt Rogerson, 21 Blair Cowan, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Bryce Campbell