'As a forward, I'd say Sean O'Brien is the best... no offence Leo!' 3 months ago

'As a forward, I'd say Sean O'Brien is the best... no offence Leo!'

Johnny Sexton has said that Sean O'Brien is the best forward he's played with during his career.

Sexton has played with O'Brien for 10 seasons at Leinster and has also represented Ireland and the British & Irish Lions with the Carlow flanker.

Former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll said that O'Brien was a player that you'd love to go to war with while Sexton put him up there as the best forward he's ever played alongside.

"We knew early in the week that Seanie was struggling a little bit," Sexton said at the post match press conference. "We wanted to make sure his last contribution was not going to be the Saracens game. His last memory, now, will be lifting the trophy.

"There's not too many now that have lifted the trophy by themselves and Leinster, I think, maybe Leo and Isa (Nacewa) may have been the only ones.

"But it is fitting for him and I'm going to miss Sean greatly. For me, he's up there with some of the best players I’ve ever played with. As a forward, I'd say he's the best... no offence Leo!

"He has strings to his bow that some other forwards in the world just didn't have, in his prime.

"As a leader and a player. we're going to miss him. But we'll drive things from within and make sure those younger guys live up to his standards."

Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster joined the province in September 2016 and said that he wishes that he could have coached O'Brien for a while longer but added that he has been impressed with his personality, his integrity, his leadership and his desire to improve.

"He has to be up there in terms of what he's delivered in the game.

"I feel that I never really got the chance to coach him. He was at his best on the Lions and obviously in my time at Leinster, he's been injured a lot of the time. Jamie Heaslip was similar, where you would have loved to have coached him more.

"Throughout the time I've spent with Sean over the last few years, I've been so impressed with his personality, his integrity, his leadership, his desire to improve.

"He raises the standards of everyone around him and people talk about what his point of difference is - his point of difference is how he makes other people in the squad feel.

"It's a testament to his influence that he was given the trophy to lift because I don't think anyone can doubt his influence on Leinster in the last 10 or 15 years."