SEAN O’BRIEN HAS been ruled out of this Saturday’s crunch Six Nations match with a skin infection on his foot.
The flanker’s withdrawal has paved the the way for Munster open side, Peter O’Mahony to win his first full cap.
O’Brien brings the casualty list to three after Paul O’Connell and Conor Murray were each ruled out for the remainder of the tournament early this week.
The Tullow native had been forced to sit out a Tuesday training session with the problem, but it had been expected that it would heal in sufficient time for the game at the Aviva.
This afternoon’s update from the IRFU merely said that the infection, “failed to recover as quickly as expected.”
O’Mahony’s promotion to the starting line-up has prompted a recall for Leinster back-row Shane Jennings, who will take up the vacancy on the bench.
Given that O’Brien was close to inclusion this weekend, he should return to fitnees in plenty of time for Ireland’s final Six Nations fixture, against England in Twickenham on 17 March.