Sean O’Brien Names The Three Best “Man-Managers” He’s Had In His Career

Man manager.

Former Ireland and Leinster back-rower Sean O’Brien has named Leo Cullen, Michael Cheika and Joe Schmidt as the best ‘man managers’ he’s had in his career so far.

Speaking on a recent episode of House of Rugby, O’Brien said Cullen is by far the best man-manager O’Brien has had, with the London Irish man having nothing but good things to say about the current Leinster boss who both played with and coached O’Brien at different stages in his career.

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Cheika was good in parts but started “losing his marbles” the longer he coached according to O’Brien.

Schmidt was of course excellent for details, something he’s always been renowned for but O’Brien isn’t too happy with the New Zealander in terms of how his Ireland career ended.

“Probably Leo Cullen would you believe. He’s definitely been one of them,” O’Brien said.

“I’m also gonna say Michael Cheika, he was a good man-manager in his early days. But I think he started losing his marbles a bit more as he got a few years into coaching!

“In the early days with Cheiks, it was give us dogs abuse days in, days out but then you get into the office and he has a few good points for you – ‘this is where you’re going and this is the direction you’re going in.’”

“He was quite knowledgeable in his approach but it was hard on the field, and ok off it type of thing.

“But Leo had it all in terms of the way he managed you. And he’s a very softly spoken person, he doesn’t raise his voice too often. 

“And then Joe Schmidt then was obviously incredibly detailed. A good man-manager but at the end I wasn’t a fan of his man-management skills!

“Once I was no good to the set-up with a dodgy hip there were no conversations ever had again! And I was like ‘right so, this is the way it’s going to be, good luck!’”