Sean O'Brien is refreshingly honest about his Lions chances 4 years ago

Sean O'Brien is refreshingly honest about his Lions chances

Just over two weeks and counting.

Lions, Lions, Lions.


Sick of all the speculation?

Bolters, captains, leadership groups, midweek captains - it's relentless.

There are so many points of discussion, it's not surprising some people find it a bit wearisome.

Well, you don't have too much longer to endure as Warren Gatland is set to announce his squad on April 19.

That's right, tomorrow two weeks.

It is widely believed that Gatland has made up his mind on the makeup of his squad already.


With the Six Nations providing the ultimate auditions for players to impress.

However, with the Champions Cup quarter-finals taking place at the weekend, there were some players who refused to be discounted by putting in brilliant performances.

Peter O'Mahony and Joey Carbery were the stars of the weekend and both have put their hands up for selection.


One other player who stood out at the weekend was Sean O'Brien.

The Tullow tank put in a performance against Wasps which was reminiscent of the player who burst onto the scene all those years ago.

The 30-year-old made 77 metres from 15 carries which included one clean line-break and three defenders beaten.

That was more like it.


His Six Nations was characterised by indifference - sometimes he failed to make an impact which we would expect of him but it also has to be said that teams set out to nullify his influence, especially at Test level.

When players are asked about their Lions aspirations, most avoid the question or simply refuse to be engaged on the topic.

O'Brien is different.

He admits it's a goal of his and that it will be anxious wait over the next two weeks.


“Obviously, it is [a goal to make the Lions squad],” he tells the Irish Times.

“It’s a huge thing for players. It doesn’t come around that often. Being there the last time as well, you know what it’s going to be like and that’s an exciting part of it. It’ll be nervy for the next week or so.”

Many players would be content with just being involved in one of the Test matches.

But not O'Brien.

During the 2013 Lions tour, he started one Test (3rd Test), came on as a substitute in the other (2nd Test) and wasn't involved in the first.

“I wasn’t selected the first day [for the first Test]. I was 24th man. Then off the bench in the second one and to start the third one was brilliant. I had mixed feelings on the last tour, but if selected it would be unbelievable again.”

It's refreshing to hear this from the Leinster stalwart.

So often players are ambiguous when they speak about their goals but O'Brien wants to be in the squad but it doesn't stop there.

He wants to play and he wants to start.

He wasn't involved in Chicago and he tasted defeat to the All Blacks two weeks later in the Aviva Stadium.

He wants to beat the All Blacks.

O'Brien has probably done enough to get on the plane.

With Leinster at the business end of both the PRO 12 and Champions Cup, he will have further chances to convince Gatland that he should be wearing the 7 shirt in Eden Park on June 24.