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Seán O'Brien (rugby player born 1994)

Seán O'Brien
Birth nameSeán O'Brien
Date of birth (1994-12-09) 9 December 1994 (age 23)
Place of birthGalway, Ireland
Height1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight112 kg (17 st 9 lb)[1]
SchoolCalasanctius College
Cistercian College
UniversityNUI Galway
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker, Lock
Current team Connacht
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
2015– Connacht 47 (5)
Correct as of 28 April 2018
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2014 Ireland U20 4 (0)
Correct as of 21 January 2016

Seán O'Brien (born 9 December 1994) is a professional rugby union player from Ireland. He plays as a lock and across the back row. O'Brien currently plays for Irish provincial side Connacht in the Pro14, after being promoted from the academy ahead of the 2015–16 season.

Early life

O'Brien was born in Galway and grew up in Clarinbridge, a village in the county. He was involved with Galwegians from a young age, with his father and grandfather having ties to the club. O'Brien also played hurling with Clarinbridge GAA in his youth.[2] His sister Katie O'Brien is a Paralympic rower.[3]

O'Brien was a student at the Cistercian College in Roscrea, but attended the Calasanctius College in Oranmore for his Junior Certificate and fifth year. He returned to Roscrea in his final year to graduate. O'Brien is also a student of NUI Galway, studying civil law.[2]

Rugby career


O'Brien entered the Connacht academy ahead of the 2013–14 season.[4] O'Brien played for the province's second tier side, the Connacht Eagles during the course of the season[5] and was named the province's under-20 player of the season.[6] After an injury ruled O'Brien out of the 2014 Junior World Cup, he failed to make a senior breakthrough in the 2014–15 season.[7]

O'Brien returned from injury ahead of the 2015–16 season.[8] He featured for Connacht in their preseason match against Grenoble,[9][10] and was made captain of the Eagles side.[11] In November 2015, O'Brien was named in the Connacht squad for a trip to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk for a 2015–16 Challenge Cup game.[12] He made his senior debut on 14 November in the game against Enisey-STM, coming on after 58 minutes as a replacement for captain John Muldoon.[13][14] O'Brien made his first league appearance two weeks later in a 2015–16 Pro12 derby against Munster, coming off the bench for Eoghan Masterson as Connacht won at Thomond Park for the first time since 1986.[15] In January 2016 it was announced that O'Brien had signed a senior contract with contract, which sees him become a member of the full squad for the 2016–17 season.[11]


O'Brien has represented Ireland at a number of under-age levels. He played for both the under-18 schools team and the under-18 club team. He also played for the under-19 side.[16]

O'Brien made his debut for the Irish under-20 team in the 2014 Six Nations Under 20s Championship against Scotland. He played in the following game against Wales, but was forced off with an injury early in the game. Despite being named in the initial team, O'Brien missed the next game against England.[17][18] He returned from his injury in time to face Italy and France and due to the absence of Leister's Dan Leavy through injury, O'Brien was named captain for these games.[19][20] He made a total of four appearances in the tournament, all of these coming as starts.[21] In April 2014 the Irish squad for the 2014 Junior World Cup was announced, with O'Brien named captain.[6] O'Brien missed the tournament through injury however, being replaced as captain by Munster's Jack O'Donoghue.[7]


  1. ^ []
  2. ^ a b "A new Sean O'Brien has arrived - and he has eyes on the top". Irish Independent. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Intense competition in the blood for 17-year-old O'Brien, but she's missing one ingredient for Rio 2016". The42. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Two new recruits to Connacht Academy". Connacht Rugby. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Pain of defeat and big voices the driving force behind 'the new' Sean O'Brien". The42. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2016. Experience with Galwegians and the Connacht Eagles are giving O’Brien the means to gain the experience that is son invaluable to his position
  6. ^ a b "Ireland U-20 Squad Named For Junior World Championship". Irish Rugby. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2016. Sean O'Brien, who was named the Connacht U-20 Player of the Year on Saturday, will captain the Ireland Under-20s in New Zealand
  7. ^ a b "Jack O'Donoghue to captain under-20s in Auckland". Irish Times. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Lam able to increase focus on detail for third year in charge of Connacht". The42. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016. Throw in former Ireland under 20 skipper Sean O’Brien to the mix after an injury-ridden season
  9. ^ "Lam names team for Grenoble pre-season opener". Connacht Rugby. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Connacht get a Grenoble gruelling". Irish Examiner. 9 August 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Connacht Academy's Sean O'Brien and Peter Robb secure senior contracts". Irish Examiner. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Connacht Announce 24-Man Squad For Siberian Trip". Irish Rugby. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Connacht secure bonus point win over Enisei-STM in Russia". RTÉ Sport. 14 November 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Player Archive: Sean O'Brien". EPC Rugby.
  15. ^ "Brilliant Connacht win in Munster for first time in 29 years". Irish Independent. 28 November 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Team Profile: Sean O'Brien". Connacht Rugby. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  17. ^ "O'Brien returns from injury for third Ireland U20s start". Connacht Rugby. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Ireland Under-20s Beaten By Clinical England Side". Irish Rugby. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Solid Performance Leads To Second Win For Ireland U-20s". Irish Rugby. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2016. the victory was effectively sealed by Ruddock's charges - who were led well by Sean O'Brien
  20. ^ "Ireland Under-20s Denied By Late French Flourish". Irish Rugby. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2016. captain Sean O'Brien, Peter Dooley and O'Donoghue all carried to good effect
  21. ^ "Under-20 Profiles: Sean O'Brien". Irish Rugby. Retrieved 21 January 2016.

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