Sunday 28 December 2014

O'Brien looks to start new season with a bang after summer rest

Published 06/08/2014 | 02:30

Having had a summer free from internationals, Sean O'Brien will be available to Leinster coach Matt O'Connor when the season kicks off in a month's time. Photo: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE
Having had a summer free from internationals, Sean O'Brien will be available to Leinster coach Matt O'Connor when the season kicks off in a month's time. Photo: Piaras O Midheach / SPORTSFILE

Sean O'Brien expects to be fit and ready to start the new season from day one after missing the summer tour to Argentina.

A shoulder injury suffered in January ruined the Tullow native's campaign last year and, although he returned in time for the conclusion of Leinster's Pro12 campaign, he was rested for the series win over the Pumas.

His involvement in the summer tour of New Zealand in 2012 and the Lions Tests a year later has left him without a full pre-season since 2011.

However, the summer off means he will be available to Leinster coach Matt O'Connor when the season kicks off in a month's time.

"I'll, hopefully, be ready to go from the off this year," he said

"I want to play as many games as I possibly can or as I'm allowed over the start of the season."

"I'd fully expect to be available for the start of the year.

"The last proper (pre-season) I had was 2011. I definitely think it stands to you throughout the whole year.

"You don't pick up as many knocks, you're fresher, your body is able to last the whole year," he revealed.

"That's what we've done this year and this will be the first time I've a lot of stuff under my belt.

"I'm moving very freely at the minute. I've nothing annoying me or anything like that and that's also the first time in a good while that I've been like that.

"Not going on tour probably had a big part to play as well. I had complete rest and just got the feet up for a while."

 

Carter ruled out of Championship games

New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter will miss at least the first two matches of the Rugby Championship against Australia after injuring his leg in last weekend's Super Rugby final.

Carter, the all-time leading points scorer in Test rugby, was recalled to the All Blacks squad last week after sitting out the June internationals against England as part of a six-month sabbatical.

But, playing for the Canterbury Crusaders in Saturday's loss to the New South Wales Waratahs at Sydney's Olympic Stadium, the 32-year-old was forced to leave the pitch after half an hour.

"Dan Carter took a knock to his lower leg and a scan has revealed a small crack in his upper fibula," the Crusaders said yesterday.

Aaron Cruden is almost certain to deputise for Carter again when New Zealand take on Australia in Sydney on August 16.

Carter will also miss the return match against the Wallabies in Auckland.

Irish Independent

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