Sean O’Brien On The “Surprise” Back-Row He Reckons Ireland Will Pick At The World Cup

Surprises.

Sean O’Brien reckons Ireland might spring “a few surprises” at the World Cup in terms of their starting back-row for the tournament.

The 32-year-old openside, who will miss the World Cup through injury, reckons the men in green could go with Peter O’Mahony at 7, Jack Conan at 6 and CJ Stander at eight, with Josh van der Flier to miss out.

House of Rugby is back with a brand new URC show – hosted by RugbyLAD founder Jason Hennessy, Ireland international Megan Williams and Olympic sevens star, Greg O'Shea. Follow and subscribe to it HERE.

But O’Brien reckons Ireland shouldn’t be thinking about who they’re going to face in the quarter-finals, whether it be New Zealand or South Africa, but rather the very credible threat posed by Scotland in their opening pool game.

“Everyone is talking about a quarter-final but Scotland are so dangerous,” O’Brien told RTÉ Sport at the launch of the broadcaster’s Rugby World Cup coverage event.

“To have them first up is a huge test.

“I think we’ll see a few surprises in the starting team. I think Pete [O’Mahony] will start at 7, Jack [Conan at 6] and CJ [Stander at 8].

“The rest of the team picks itself but it’ll be an interesting battle and if we don’t hit the ground running it’s going to be a long [or short] World Cup.”

Interesting comments from O’Brien. Who would you select in Ireland’s starting back-row?