Sunday 24 September 2017

O’Driscoll out of Heineken Cup and Six Nations as he opts for surgery

BRIAN O’Driscoll will miss the rest of the season – both the Heineken Cup and Six Nations - after a decision to operae on the shoulder injury that he has haunted him for the past year.

O’Driscoll said he will have surgery next week and will not play again until at least the start of May.



But there is the possibility that Ireland’s captain could be involved in the summer tour to the southern hemisphere.



Leinster will kick-off the defence of their Heineken Cup title in Montpellier on Saturday, without their best player.



And Joe Schmidt’s side will also be without Shane Horgan, as he recovers from a knee operation. He will be out until the New Year.



Leinster captain Leo Cullen knows what this double blow will mean.



He said today: “It will be a really tough opener in Montpellier. They had an unbelievable home record in the Top 14 last year and they were within 10-15 minutes of beating Toulouse in the French final last season and then only lost by less than a score.



“They are going to be a very tough proposition and everyone in our Pool has strong home records.



“It is almost a given that in the Heineken Cup you have to win your home games so you ask yourself where you are going to pick up an away win. It is tough to see where that can come from though we will have an opportunity straight away against Montpellier.



“The key, once again, will be to keep your destiny in your own hands and after playing at some fantastic venues last season – the Aviva and Millennium Stadium – Twickenham is another amazing venue and it would be great to make it that far.”



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