Lions centre Riki Flutey looks set to feature in Brive’s final two Heineken Cup Pool matches after returning to action for the French side in the Top 14.
Flutey, who played a starring role in the Lions’ third-Test win over the Springboks, had been ruled out of action with a shoulder injury since making his Brive debut in the 9-9 draw against ASM Clermont Auvergne at they end of August.
The 29-year-old former New Zealand age-grade player was one of England’s form players in the lead up to last year’s Lions tour of South Africa and had been expected to make a big impression in the French league before injury struck.
Having been an unused replacement in the return game in Clermont over the Christmas period, Flutey finally got back into action in the outstanding 29-9 home win over French Champions Perpignan last weekend.
In tandem with fellow England international Jamie Noon in the Brive midfield, Flutey helped Brive record a third home win in a row and move up to ninth in the Top 14 table.
And his return to full fitness sets up the prospect of the English midfield ace coming face-to-face with two of his 2009 Lions centre rivals Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy when Brive travel to Dublin for their fifth round Heineken Cup clash with reigning champions Leinster on January 16.
Brive have yet to pick up a point in Pool 6 in the Heineken Cup this season but, with Flutey back in the side, they will be hoping to end their campaign with a bang when they travel to the RDS and then complete their Pool assignments with a home clash with the Scarlets.