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Sean O'Brien: If Garry Ringrose played 6 Nations this year, I guarantee he gets hurt

The Leinster flanker hopes to return from his ripped hamstring tendon in a month’s time.

IRELAND FLANKER SEAN O’Brien believes Irish rugby is not in a position to simply throw talented young players into the deep end to see whether they sink or swim. They’re just too valuable to risk.

O’Brien’s Leinster team-mate Garry Ringrose was the topic of much debate before this year’s Six Nations. But the in-form outside centre was omitted from the Ireland squad by head coach Joe Schmidt.

Garry Ringrose Source: Russell Cheyne/INPHO

“He’s trying to develop him and mind his body,” O’Brien contended after it was said that Schmidt was ‘minding’ Ringrose.

“It’s different for someone who’s had a bit of experience, had a year under his belt.

“If Garry goes in next year into the Six Nations, we’ll see a different Garry in terms of his physicality, in terms of his smartness. He will be a different player again. He will be a step up from where he is now.

You fire him in there this year, I guarantee he gets hurt.

“You’ve big centres running down his channel. They’re going to run straight into him. Regardless of how talented you are, you’re going to get hurt.

“These young lads who are phenomenally talented, But there is a way of bringing them into the system.”

Sean O'Brien Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

O’Brien, who is hoping to return in a month despite tearing his hamstring tendon, added:

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“We don’t have enough of them (young talent) coming through to be firing them in the deep end. We’re not like New Zealand or Australia. We have to mind these lads to a certain extent until they’re physically able to keep going week-after-week.

“You throw him in now and he is finished in six years maybe.”

“Ye are looking in from the outside and going ‘give him a shot.’ But, you put Garry in this year, you’re taking out an experienced fella like Jared or Robbie or Lukey even when he’s fit, who has experience, someone who’s very physical, someone who’s smart.

1129390 Sean O'Brien, Dominic Ryan and Mick Kearney as Leinster and Samsung offered the chance to win a new S7 and a place at the mobile photography masterclass. Share your favorite Leinster-themed photographs on social media using #S7BeyondTheGame.

“You’re putting in a young fella because he’s playing well for his club. Can he do it at international level?

“You’re taking a huge risk there.

“He will do it at international level. But, as I said, I think it’s the right thing to do with some of these very talented guys: make sure they’re coming through the right way, are developed enough to last for Irish Rugby.”

Samsung, official technology partner to Leinster Rugby, is giving fans a chance to shoot behind the scenes at the RDS using the new Galaxy S7. Winners will also learn from a photography masterclass before snapping pitch-side when Leinster take on Edinburgh. Go to Samsung’s Facebook page or here for more information on how to win.

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Sean Farrell

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