Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien set to join London Irish after World Cup

Ireland's Sean O'Brien
Sean O'Brien's career has been punctuated by a number of injuries

Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien is set to leave Leinster to join London Irish after the World Cup.

The move is expected to be confirmed next week with the back-rower joining up with former Ireland head coach Declan Kidney and Les Kiss at the club.

London Irish are nine points clear at the top of the Championship.

The move is unlikely to affect O'Brien's World Cup prospects as he is centrally contracted to the Irish RFU until the conclusion of the tournament.

The Leinster forward, who turns 32 next month, has won 53 caps for Ireland and made five Test match appearances for the British and Irish Lions as part of the 2013 and 2017 touring squads to Australia and New Zealand.

The Carlow native started all three Tests in the drawn series with the All Blacks in 2017.

He was part of the Leinster sides which won the Heineken Cup in 2011 and 2012 but missed the latter part of last year's successful European campaign through injury.

Selected to start on Saturday against Scotland, O'Brien's situation is similar to Paul O'Connell before the 2015 World Cup - when the then Irish captain had agreed before the tournament to join Toulon.

However, while there is no official policy regarding the selection of players based outside Ireland, it is unlikely O'Brien will be considered for the 2020 Six Nations by Andy Farrell, who will replace Joe Schmidt as Ireland head coach after the World Cup.

Former Munster fly-half Ian Keatley and former Ireland Under-20 duo Conor Gilsenan and Brendan Macken are currently on the books of London Irish.