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


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.

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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?