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08th Aug 2014

Sean O’Brien tells JOE about pre-season, Leo Cullen, Simon Easterby and his GAA involvement during the summer

The Leinster back-row chatted to us about a whole host of rugby related topics…

Joe Harrington

The Leinster back-row chatted to us about a whole host of rugby related topics…

JOE headed along to the launch of Leinster’s new Canterbury European jersey this week and we had a chance to chat to Ireland and Blue back-row Sean O’Brien.

The Tullow Tank talked to us about his pre-season, working with different coaches, how Leo Cullen is adapting to his new role and his links with the Wexford hurlers and the Carlow footballers during the summer.

Leinster Jersey

O’Brien on… getting back into pre-season

“It is enjoyable definitely, but it is definitely hard work. It mightn’t be enjoyable for all the time you’re doing it, but you do feel good afterwards. I suppose you know you have to push on and set new standards this year and keep pushing each other.

“I think every year you do change, every year you get in better shape. I’m getting there now this year, into even better shape than I was in at the start of last season. Every season that passes by, I think you develop a little bit and grow.”

O’Brien on… Paul O’Connell’s opinion that “the simpler the game, the easier it is to implement”

“Obviously the simpler the game plan, the easier it is to do but you have to be inventive as well and you have to come up with different strategies for different teams, I think that’s one of Matt’s strength but he has a lot of strings to his bow.

“I think if you look at last year, when we were accurate, the game plan worked. It’s very similar to the way Joe Schmidt works as well, Joe and Matt are different but it’s not a whole lot different from one coach to another, it’s about how we execute it and how accurate we are and making sure we’re doing the right things.”

O’Brien on… the benefits of living with Leinster nutritionist Daniel Davey

“It obviously helps a lot because he’s the nutritionist and it’s something I’ve got into in a big way over the last few years. As I’ve said, I’m a lot better at minding myself now over the last while and [living with Daniel] helps a lot.”

Leinster Sean O'Brien Gordon D'Arcy Jimmy Gopperth

O’Brien on… the new forwards’ coach Leo Cullen and scrum coach Marco Caputo

“It’s been pretty seamless, we all know Leo is very smart and was a brilliant leader and captain in the last few years. I never had a doubt that it would be difficult for him to be a forwards coach. I’m really enjoying some of the new things he’s brought in as well.

“We’ve had unit sessions in the last two weeks or so – line-outs, scrums, different things. Marco coming in as well has been very good and very astute. He delivers what he wants very well. I couldn’t be happier with the two lads.”

O’Brien on… Simon Easterby’s appointment as Ireland’s new forwards’ coach

“I think we [progressed a lot under John Plumtree] but with Simon coming in, he’s a very smart guy and he’s played at the top level. He has a lot of experience and he’ll kick on from where Plum left off. Obviously it was disappointing that John moved on but we have a man more than capable of doing a good job.”

O’Brien on… his involvement with the Carlow footballers and the Wexford hurlers

“With Carlow, I just gave them a ring while I was doing my rehab. With the Wexford lads, I knew a couple of the boys who asked me to come in once or twice. It was limited in terms of what I was doing. But if I can pass on something to friends, that’s all it really was.”

Sean O’Brien was speaking at the launch of Leinster’s new Canterbury 2014/15 European shirt at University College Dublin. The new jersey is available now at