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Murphy: We’re All Looking Forward To Having Sean On Our Team

Murphy: We’re All Looking Forward To Having Sean On Our Team

Leinster contact skills coach Sean O'Brien is pictured at one of the province's recent training sessions in UCD ©INPHO/Ben Brady

Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Division 1B club Naas have confirmed that former Ireland international Sean O’Brien is joining their senior squad for the current season.

O’Brien retired from professional rugby in June after 14 successful seasons, which included 11 years with his native Leinster and three years with London Irish. He currently works as Leinster’s contact skills coach.

The 35-year-old Carlow man started his career in Tullow RFC before joining Leinster and making his provincial debut in September 2008. During his time with Leinster he was capped 126 times, won five league titles and four Champions Cups.

Crowned the European Player of the Year in 2011, the world-class back rower was capped 56 times for Ireland and toured twice with the British & Irish Lions in 2013 and 2017.

Commenting on O’Brien’s move to join the Cobras, Naas RFC President Paul Stapleton said: “We are delighted to have Sean join us in Naas Rugby Club and we look forward to having him support our ambitions in the Energia All-Ireland League.”

Naas, who lost out on the promotion play-offs last April, began the new Division 1B campaign last weekend with a 37-7 defeat to Old Wesley at Energia Park. They are at home to Highfield on Saturday.

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Their head coach Johne Murphy stated: “We had a very successful season last year and, as we start off the season, having a player of Sean’s calibre will develop our players.

“They will learn a lot from the experience that Sean brings from his playing career. The whole club, from grassroots upwards including all our players from minis upwards, all our coaches right across all age groups and also the amazing supporters that we have in Naas, he will bring plenty of enjoyment to everyone in our amazing club.

“We are all looking forward to having him on our team.”

Warren Larkin, the Chair of senior rugby at Naas RFC, added: “We look forward to Sean joining our squad in the next few days, all the players are delighted to have a team-mate with the experience and rugby intelligence that he will bring.

“In addition, his work as contact skills coach with Leinster Rugby will also bring many ideas to the squad.”