Sean O’Brien On When He Hopes To Be Back Playing

The Tullow Tank.

Ireland and Leinster back-row forward Sean O’Brien is hoping he can play a role in this year’s Six Nations, as he continues to recover from surgery on his hip.

Head coach Joe Schmidt was asked about O’Brien’s fitness after the bonus-point win over Italy, and he reckons the openside could very well be back in time to face Wales.

“Sean is trucking along pretty well, as well.” Schmidt said.

“We’re starting to get a few other loose forwards that we need to look at, and Sean O’Brien is automatically one of those.

“He’s making pretty good progress, so we’ll get an update on Sean during the week and he may well come into the squad ahead of the Wales Test match.”

O’Brien himself joined Luke Fitzgerald on The Left Wing this week, and says it hasn’t been easy to watch Ireland’s exploits in the Six Nations so far without being involved.

“Hopefully I’ll play a part in the Six Nations.” O’Brien said.

“We’ll see how this week goes and we’ll tick a few boxes and assess where we are going forward.”

“It’s been up-and-down with small niggles and different bits and pieces. Hopefully when I do get back fit I get back and get a good run of games.

“That’s all I want to do, get back out and play. It’s pretty frustrating at the minute with the lads going so well and missing a few big games. That’s the priority for me.”

He likely won’t be ready for Leinster’s clash with Scarlets this weekend, but O’Brien is a master at this stage when it comes to launching himself straight back into Test rugby after an injury. And the Tullow man is confident this time will be no different.

“You’ve done an awful lot of work in terms of rehab and looking after yourself in the weeks leading up to the game. Your body composition and stuff like that has to be good and that gives you the confidence when you go into a game that you’re nearly fit,” he added.

“You need a game or a game-and-a-half to get REALLY match fit. The first 20 minutes you’re blowing hard but that’s nearly like every Test match.

“Just as long as you’re going back in in the best shape possible and then getting as many minutes as you can under your belt.”

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