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O'Brien loyal to Leinster


Sean O'Brien

Sean O'Brien

Sean O'Brien

SEAN O'Brien has turned down the offer of much greater financial reward in France to sign a contract extension with Leinster and the IRFU.

"Of course, it is a huge positive for the club, for Ireland," said Team Manager Guy Easterby, this morning.

The 26 year-old Leinster, Ireland and British & Irish Lions flanker has decided to stay loyal to his province when there was no shortage of takers for his signature.

This removes the possibility of O'Brien having played his last match for Leinster as he could very well be out for the rest of the season given a slight complication in surgery to his dislocated shoulder.

In hindsight, coach Matt O'Connor may or may not have known more than he was willing to part with yesterday when he expressed confidence that O'Brien would stay at Leinster.



"You wouldn't want to step in Seán's way of going down there at looking at an environment and seeing what it offers him individually," said O'Connor.

"I don't think it has changed his opinion. He has expressed his preference would be to stay with Leinster and play in Ireland and that's all we can go on".

In terms of the here-and-now, The Ospreys have been a bogey club for Leinster, at least in the PRO12 League. But, they have lost elite players to the power of the market place.

"They probably haven't got the same roster that they had two or three years ago for a number of reasons," stated O'Connor.

"But, they've got four Lions in the tight five, an incredibly good back row and Dan Biggar is as good a 10 as there is in Wales.

"If you give them opportunity and your set-piece doesn't function and you're ill-disciplined, then you've a chance to get beaten by them.

O'Connor admitted Leinster could "reassess inside the contest" against The Ospreys when it comes to the bonus-point.

"It's probably not that different to how you approach the League in reality. All league games are about winning and, then, you need to reassess inside the contest.



"That's where we got to in Castres when we scored that late try through Jordi Murphy. The guys want to play and the want to get maximum points out of the game".

While Leinster will take nothing for granted against a club that has made a habit out of spoiling the party in Dublin, O'Connor was not afraid to entertain the possibility of taking a plane into the quarter-final.

"The reality is that you are unlikely to be at home," agreed the Australian.

"All you do is tick the first box, get the result. There was confidence gained across the group (of players) in Castres, knowing we are a pretty good team away from home.

"If we can replicate those performances we've had in the Pool stages in a quarter-final, how tough a place it is, is irrelevant".

"Wherever we end up in the quarter-finals, if we put out a quality performance, well, we're good enough to get the result".