Saturday 3 December 2016

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

Published 08/11/2016 | 14:21

Sean O'Brien
Sean O'Brien

Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien has admitted that there is a part of him that was disappointed to miss out on the team's historic win over the All Blacks - but the Leinster bulldozer is determined to be involved when the world champions visit Dublin in two weeks time.

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O'Brien was working on his match fitness with Leinster away to Zebre while his national colleagues prepared to take on the mighty All Blacks last Saturday, with Joe Schmidt opting to leave the openside at home for the stateside clash.

The Carlow native expressed his delight that his team-mates finally got over the line against New Zealand, but admitted that he wasn't entirely on board with Schmidt's decision to keep him in reserve, saying he would have been '100% if selected'.

"I wouldn't say I completely agreed with it but that's the call they made," O'Brien said today at the Irish rugby press event.

"I did need more game time, but you always back yourself if called upon to do a good job.

"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.

"You are disappointed that you could have been there. But that’s life, you’ve to go through these things but I’m looking forward to getting back on the field this week hopefully and that’s all I’m thinking about now."

O'Brien revealed that he was only able to watch the first half of the game in the airport with his Leinster team-mates before their flight back to Dublin, but the pilot was able to inform them that Ireland had indeed beaten the All Blacks after 111 years of trying.

O'Brien's thoughts now turn to this weekend and the visit of Canada, with the Leinster flanker expected to return to the national side along with Peter O'Mahony.

Having not played for Ireland since last February, O'Brien is hoping that a good performance puts him in line for a crack at the All Blacks on November 19.

"It’s a huge game," O'Brien said of the Canada clash.

"It’s a huge game for everyone. Younger guys, the likes of Pete with a lot of caps. It’s another international game. You can be damn sure Canada – they’ve been here a week already in Johnstown House – they’ll be preparing to come and beat us. We’ve to treat it like any test match this week."

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