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26th May 2021

“Everyone just didn’t get why he had to do it topless!”

Patrick McCarry

Sean O'Brien

“Well, where do I start?!”

Sean O’Brien welcomed his old Leinster, Ireland and Lions teammate Robbie Henshaw to the latest House of Rugby show, this week, and may have been hoping to embarrass him with some old tales.

Showing the sort of nous and dexterity that has served him well this season, Henshaw soon turned the tables.

Before he flew out, on Tuesday, to meet his 2021 British & Irish Lions teammates, Henshaw dropped by for a chat and told a great story about O’Brien singing a Lady Gaga classic, over at Johnny Sexton’s house. On more than one occasion.

“One of the best memories I have of Sean,” Henshaw began, “was, probably once a month, we’d all get together at Johnny Sexton’s house after a big win – say, in the Champions League or something.

“Sean loves the song Shallow, by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. He’d get up on the marble island, in the middle of Johnny’s kitchen, rip his top off and take Shallow away, to the whole squad and their partners.

“In fairness, he was very good at performing it. But everyone just didn’t get why he had to do it topless!”

Asked who his singing style more resembled, O’Brien remarked, “I’d probably have more the subtlety of Bradley Cooper, and the wildness of Lady Gaga!”

O’Brien confessed that the Leinster boys were in clover until a spotlight snafu saw such get-togethers knocked on the head for a while.

“It all came to a halt. I was standing on the island one night, and we were giving it a right kick, the whole squad were there. In fairness to Johnny’s wife, Laura, she was brilliant in the house. Anything used to go, and it used to get a bit messy.

“But I pulled the two spotlights out of the roof, by pure accident. I don’t know how I dd it, but I think that was the last night I was there. I don’t think I was invited back after that!”

The Sexton household was off-limits for a while after that. O’Brien never mentioned if he picked up the D.I.Y tab, or offered to do a fix-up job himself, but his 2019 move to London Irish meant there have not been any repeat performances for a while.

The Irish lads’ yarns even coaxed a couple of post-game celebration stories out of Saracens and England star Alex Goode. He assured host Lee McKenzie that his ‘rubber ring’ was just that when he went on a full-kit session after the 2019 Champions Cup triumph.


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