Thursday 25 May 2017

O'Brien vows to win back his Ireland place after Schmidt omission

Ireland's Sean O'Brien arrives for squad training at Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Ireland's Sean O'Brien arrives for squad training at Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Sean O'Brien has admitted he didn't agree with the decision of Ireland coach Joe Schmidt to omit him from the 23-man squad which would ultimately topple the All Blacks in Chicago.

However, Schmidt's assistant Simon Easterby claimed the call, as well as the decision to leave Peter O'Mahony at home, was a "good" one.

"It was good for a number of reasons," claimed Easterby. "They've both come back from long-term injuries and I think it's kind of a little bit of a risk sometimes to feel that you've got to go out and pick a team for a certain game.

Read more: 'I wouldn't say I completely agreed with it': Sean O'Brien 'disappointed' to miss out on Ireland's historic All Blacks win

"We were really comfortable with what we took to Chicago, there were a number of reasons for that, but importantly we felt the combinations were right in the back-row.

"Both of them got game time at the weekend, got more time under their belt and I think that will only serve them well in terms of their preparation."

O'Brien and O'Mahony will feature this weekend against Canada before the All Blacks, potentially boosted by the return of talismanic second-row Brodie Retallick, who has returned to the squad, pitch up in Dublin for the November 19 Test match.

"I wouldn't say I completely agreed with it," said O'Brien of Schmidt's selection call, one clearly vindicated by the performance and result.

"But that's the call that they made. I did need more game time, but you always back yourself if called upon to do a good job.

"You are disappointed that you could have been there. But that's life, you've to go through these things. I'm looking forward to getting back on the field this week.

"I've had no issues. I felt better every week and getting that game conditioning under my belt. I would have been 100pc if selected.

"Looking at it now, I'm probably better off getting more game time like I did at the weekend and being introduced back in this week.

"A lot of us have to play well to be in contention to get involved."

Irish Independent

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