It was a super Sunday of good news for Ireland in the Champions Cup as Robbie Henshaw and Sean O’Brien both returned to Leinster ranks in the impressive win away at Wasps.
Henshaw and O’Brien have been out injured and subsequently not seen in club colours since October but both men returned in style as Leinster prevailed 37-19.
Leo Cullen’s men now know they will face Ulster in the final eight of the Champions Cup but before then Henshaw and O’Brien could return to the international fold in the 2019 Guinness Six Nations.
Ireland open up against England at Aviva Stadium in a fortnight’s time and will be buoyed to have seen powerful centre Henshaw play 61 minutes at the Ricoh Arena and resume his midfield partnership with international teammate Garry Ringrose.
Ringrose stepped his way to the game’s first try on 16 minutes as the potent centre partnership helped Cullen’s men race into a 20-0 half-time lead – with the same midfield now an exciting possibility for that Ireland v England encounter.
Meanwhile, 52-cap Ireland back row O’Brien started at No.8 as a late inclusion in the starting line-up and played the full 80 in Coventry.
O’Brien, 31, looked in impressive shape in the intense Champions Cup encounter and also provides a boost for his country as they look to defend their Championship crown.
The pair were both named by Joe Schmidt in his Ireland squad this week, and like Iain Henderson and John Cooney on Saturday, came through their first games back in impressive fashion.