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Dublin: 12°C Saturday 15 May 2021

O'Brien: 'You think you can help the boys out but you can never know watching on TV'

The flanker was forced to watch Leinster’s Champions Cup semi-final defeat from his sofa.

O'Brien was a big loss for Leo Cullen's side in Lyon.
O'Brien was a big loss for Leo Cullen's side in Lyon.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

SEAN O’BRIEN IS back running and hopes to have shaken off the hamstring injury which kept him out of Leinster’s Champions Cup semi-final defeat in time to play a part in the province’s Pro12 run-in.

The flanker missed the 27-22 loss to Clermont in Lyon on Sunday with a tight hamstring but is making good progress in his rehabilitation although it’s too soon to say if he’ll be involved against Glasgow this Friday.

O’Brien said it was too much of a ‘risk’ to battle through the problem and play in the last four clash against Clermont after pulling up in last Wednesday’s session.

“It felt a bit tight on Wednesday and wasn’t great again on Thursday so it was just too risky,” he said this afternoon. “If you’re running full pelt and pull up then you’re in big trouble.

“It was frustrating because you feel like you can add something to it. You’d be incredibly proud of the lads the way they played after 15/20 minutes. I know they gave Clermont a bit of a start which was a bit of a sickener. It is what it is, we learn and we’ll move on. We’ve a young side and a young squad and we’ll learn and move on and hopefully get better.”

When asked if at any stage during the match he felt he could have made a difference for Leinster, the Ireland international added: ”I’m good for watching [matches on TV], obviously when you want to be playing you’re not made up or a bit frustrated but you’re there and that’s just the way of it. You’re willing them on with every chance you get.

“There’s certain things defensively you’d see and I’d be quite vocal on the pitch with messages during the game so you think you can help but you can never know. That’s just your mindset I suppose. You could be out there helping the boys but that’s life unfortunately.

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“There is a lot of depth there [in the backrow] but having said that everyone has different attributes and as I said one of my strongest ones would be good communication when the game is going on, when you’re under the pump. That’s the just the way it goes.”

Sean O’Brien, Johnny Sexton and Jack McGrath were speaking at today’s launch of the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Summer Camps.

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Ryan Bailey

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