Rúaidhrí O’Connor: ‘Seán O’Brien kept his feet firmly rooted as he scaled rugby’s greatest heights’

It was telling that Séan O’Brien displayed five crests at the top of his retirement statement and that Tullow RFC’s insignia took pride of place alongside Ireland, Leinster, the Lions and London Irish.

’Brien may have scaled rugby’s greatest heights as a dominant back-row capable of bending games to his will, yet his home town club remained firmly part of him for the duration. His sense of place and commitment to Tullow saw him race up and down to train various teams over the years to the point where the Leinster coaches had to step in and suggest he spend less time on the road.

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