Sean O'Brien names top three managers he's ever had, gets called out on it 3 months ago

Sean O'Brien names top three managers he's ever had, gets called out on it

“But I think he started to lose his marbles!”

The latest House of Rugby welcomed a special guest that goes by the name of John Bentley. Twenty-four years on from the famous South African Lions tour of 1997 Bentley gives us a behind the scenes, look at why it means so much to be a Lion.


“Probably the greatest day of my life was in Durban on the 28th of June in 1997.”

After sharing some of his best memories of the Lions tour Bentley was keen to pose a question to his hosts, Seán O’Brien and Alex Goode.

“Can I ask you two boys a very honest, personal question? I’ve had lots of rugby coaches but I haven’t had many good man-managers. Who are your best man-managers boys?”

O’Brien, as enthusiastic as ever to get the ball rolling opted for a trio of his favourite man-managers as opposed to just the one. The ever so sharp Alex Goode calling him out on this…

Seánie I love that you’ve just mentioned your three Leinster coaches. You could have picked one but you just picked all of them!”

Former Leinster captain and current head coach, Leo Cullen filled the top spot with O’Brien having only good things to say about him.


“But Leo had it all, in terms of the way he managed you. He’s a very softly spoken person Leo, he doesn’t raise his voice too often.”

However the second name listed wasn’t so lucky with O’Brien suggesting that Michael Cheika had “lost his marbles” towards the end of his coaching career. He spoke about how in the early days, Cheika would give the players “dogs abuse” on the training pitch and be “okay” off it.

Taking the bronze medal on O’Brien’s list of favourite man-managers was former Leinster and Ireland head coach, Joe Schmidt. Contrary to a lot of current players working in media, O’Brien has managed to develop a refreshing aura of honesty around himself which was hammered home to me when he mentioned how Schmidt was incredibly detailed in his approach but, “at the end I wasn’t a fan of his man-management skills.” To which Bentley quipped, “Why because he dropped you?”  With O’Brien conceding, “Yeah, yeah. Once the hip was gone…”

You can listen to the full chat from House of Rugby UK episode on Castbox right here.