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Young Back Rower O’Brien Makes Switch To Connacht

Young Back Rower O’Brien Makes Switch To Connacht

Sean O'Brien is pictured scoring a try for the Ireland Students team against the French Universities in Cork last month ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Connacht Rugby have confirmed the latest addition to next season’s playing squad, with the signing of Sean O’Brien from the Leinster Academy.

Born in Pittsburgh but Irish-qualified, O’Brien has made three senior appearances for Leinster and also had a stint with the LA Giltinis in Major League Rugby, helping them to win the title in 2021.

He also played a key role in Ireland’s Under-20 Six Nations campaign in 2020, featuring in a squad that included some of his future Connacht team-mates, Cian Prendergast, Cathal Forde, Diarmuid Kilgallen, Oran McNulty and Andrew Smith.

Commenting on the signing, the province’s head coach Pete Wilkins said: “Irish Rugby is full of future talent in the back row, and Sean is one of those that has the potential to kick on and have a really successful career.

“His fundamentals around ball carry, tackle and set-piece are all really strong, and he’ll be an excellent option for us across the back row positions. He’ll add further depth in a crucial area of the squad for us.”

O’Brien, who turns 23 in July, added: “To play for Leinster has meant a huge amount to me and I am very grateful to all of the players and staff who made my time there so enjoyable.

“Having said that, I’m delighted to be joining Connacht Rugby and sign my first professional contract. At this point in my career, I feel that game-time is what I need most to keep improving and striving to get the most out of myself.

“Connacht is a side that gives players like myself the opportunity to impress, and I’ve seen how many players have benefitted from that game-time since joining the province.

“I hope to make a similar impression and play my part in Connacht’s quest for success.”