Tadhg Furlong and CJ Stander delighted to have Sean O'Brien back 2 years ago

Tadhg Furlong and CJ Stander delighted to have Sean O'Brien back

Leinster flanker Sean O'Brien will play his first game for Ireland in nearly a year after he was named to start against Argentina on Saturday.

O'Brien will return to the Irish pack alongside CJ Stander and Peter O'Mahony in a new-look but familiar Ireland backrow in what will be his first game since Ireland's win over Argentina last year.

O'Brien has had to endure another horrid time with injuries this year but teammates Tadhg Furlong and CJ Stander are both looking forward to seeing the two-time British & Irish Lions tourist return to the pack.

"Yeah, for sure. He's a guy who brings a lot of physicality and he's a workhorse," said Stander.

"He puts pressure on the breakdown, in defence he is unbelievable and he carries well as well. Looking forward to him being back. He's trained well, he looks good and it's good to have someone of his experience in the squad back.

"[His return] doesn't really change anything of what myself and Pete have to do but he certainly brings a lot of physicality in all the sectors. It takes a bit of pressure of us anyway."

O'Brien is one of the more senior players in the Ireland squad and has always been one to speak his mind.


Furlong, who has seen him battle through injury at Leinster at several points this year, said that it's his leadership that is valued among the Ireland playing squad as much as anything that he can add on the pitch.

"Seanie adds a massive amount to the group, not just through experience, but also through his leadership, adding a constant voice," said the Ireland prop at Carton House.

"I know he's been through a tough time through injury, but it's great to see him back out there and as vocal as ever through his high-pitched voice!

"And I suppose leading us around the pitch."

The Carlow flanker has been hampered by both shoulder and hip issues this year and has played just five games for Leinster.

O'Brien said last month that he was feeling better about his fitness but insisted that it was more about regaining his sharpness ahead of the November internationals after a tough trip in the Champions Cup to Toulouse.

"Whatever the squad is for November then and leading into four games so hopefully I’ll get more minutes this weekend and see what happens after that

"It’s just about taking one game at a time for me at the minute. I had a mixed bag in the [loss to Toulouse]. I felt good with certain things I did but [there were] a few silly mistakes that I usually wouldn’t do. [I’m] just getting a bit of sharpness.

"It’s nearly there, every week has been an improvement. That’s what I’m most pleased about I suppose. Hopefully this weekend I’ll get more minutes.

"[I’m] staying nice and patient and not expecting to be doing anything too magical out there just yet."