Sean O’Brien is set to leave Leinster after this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
RTE Sport are reporting that the man known as the Tullow Tank move will be confirmed as early as next week, the move will mean that the Carlow man will link up with former Ireland coach Declan Kidney and former Ireland backs coach Les Kiss who also coached Ulster. London Irish are based in Reading and currently sit 9 points ahead in the Championship. O’Brien who will be 32 later next month was unlikely to see his IRFU central contract renewed on a multi year basis according to RTE Sport.
Rugbypass have reported that if the move goes ahead O’Brien will put pen to paper on a deal worth 518,000 euro per year on a three year contract. Speaking at the captains run today at Murrayfield Ireland hooker and captain Rory Best said ”We obviously haven’t heard anything, that’s Seanie’s own contract negotiations are his own business and I think it would be wrong of me to comment on somebody’s personal situation”.
O’Brien has had a torrid time with injuries over the years but he is a very special player in my opinion, he is superb. He has played 58 international tests which includes 5 tests with the British and Irish Lions. It looks to me that London Irish are building for life in the Gallagher Premiership next year as they have already confirmed the signings of Australian pair Nick Phipps and Curtis Rona for next season.
O’Brien who will play for Ireland at flanker in a massive game on Saturday sat out today’s captain run. Overall, the move won’t affect whether he will be going to the World Cup or not as his contract with IRFU goes until the end of the tournament. However, for the 2020 Six Nations it will be a different story as he will be playing outside of Ireland and new boss Andy Farrell may not consider him. Currently, there is no rule for no selecting players that play outside of Ireland it is just a manager based decision.
It remains to be seen whether the news will confirmed next week by the club, more as we get it.