Joe Schmidt confirms Sean O'Brien broke his arm against Argentina 11 months ago

Joe Schmidt confirms Sean O'Brien broke his arm against Argentina

In recent years, Sean O'Brien has fought back from multiple shoulder, hip and hamstring injuries. He picked up a fresh blow on Saturday night.

The Leinster back-row cut a distraught figure as he left the field of play after 38 minutes. O'Brien had been playing solidly enough but broke his right arm in what initially looked to be a regulation carry in his side's 28-17 victory at the Aviva Stadium.

O'Brien damaged his arm near the end of a hard-fought first half. The ball popped up to him with Argentinean players bearing down on him but he ploughed on. That carry was strong but Ireland lost possession and Tomas Lavinini went on the charge.

It was Lavinini's head that crunched into O'Brien's arm. Play raged on around the Carlow native but he knew he was in a bad way.

The medics rushed on at the next break in play but it was clear that O'Brien would not be playing on. Dan Leavy was readied and came on in the final minutes of the half.

Johnny Sexton knocked over a penalty from near the halfway line and that distracted many of the home crowd from the unfortunate sight of O'Brien leaving with his jersey being used as a make-shift sling.

Following the game, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt confirmed the bad news to RTE:

"Sean has broke his right arm. He'll need surgery on that."

"That is likely to keep him out of the game for a while," Schmidt told RTE's Clare McNamara. "He is devastated, obviously. I thought he had had a pretty good start to the game. He was his physical robust self."

That means O'Brien is out of the remainder of the Guinness Series - New Zealand and the USA - and he looks likely to miss Leinster's end of year Champions Cup and Guinness PRO14 commitments.

The positive for Ireland, here, must be the solid performance registered by Leavy in the second half. The flanker gave away an early penalty but was flawless thereafter as Ireland pulled away from Los Pumas.