Legend returns

Lions hero Brian O'Driscoll's hopes of making a fourth successive tour have been handed a big boost. [more]

Legend returns

Lions hero Brian O’Driscoll’s hopes of making a fourth successive tour have been handed a big boost.

O’Driscoll hasn’t featured for club or country so far this season thanks to a neck and shoulder problem but he has today been named in the Leinster squad for Friday's clash with the Ospreys.

The 33-year-old underwent surgery to resolve the issue after Ireland’s quarter-final defeat to Wales at the 2011 World Cup and has now been sidelined for five months.

Speculation suggested that the injury could bring his stellar career to a premature end but O’Driscoll always insisted he would return to action.

And that return will now come even earlier than expected after he was selected in his province’s starting side for the RaboDirect PRO12 fixture at the RDS.

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“Brian O'Driscoll will make his first appearance for the province after making significant progress in recent weeks following injury,” read the Leinster team announcement.

“He will partner fellow Ireland international Fergus McFadden at centre for the visit of the Welsh side.”

As well as missing Leinster’s first 25 games of the season, O’Driscoll also sat out Ireland’s entire 6 Nations campaign as Declan Kidney’s men lost to Wales and England, drew with France and beat Italy and Scotland.

But news that he will be back in action on Friday will be a major boost for Kidney and co ahead of their daunting three-Test series with the All Blacks in New Zealand this summer.

O’Driscoll has previously talked about his desire to follow up his previous Lions adventures from 2001, 2005 and 2009 with another outing in 2013 and a strong showing against the World Champions could propel him back towards the top of the reckoning for the trip to Australia.

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