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17th May 2022

Sean O’Brien hoping for Barbarians call and final game at Twickenham

Patrick McCarry

What a great way to head off into the sunset, this would be.

After 15 seasons at the top-end of the professional game, Sean O’Brien will hang up his boots this summer.

The former Leinster and Ireland star is in his final season with London Irish and will retire when the season concludes. The Exiles, coached by Declan Kidney and Les Kiss, missed out on the end of year knockout stages [top four] but could still finish sixth, if results go their way. Wasps, one behind them in ninth, are the only side left that could pip them for a Champions Cup spot, next season.

O’Brien has lined out for London Irish 13 times, this season, but has not played since early May after three games in a row, in domestic and European action. As there are 13 teams in the Premiership, this season, Irish have a bye on the final weekend. That means the flanker will be hopeful of a match-day squad place for this Saturday’s fixture against Bath.

When the London Irish season wraps, O’Brien could have one last game, and one last honour – lining out for the Barbarians.

Sean O’Brien on Baa Baas dream

If he can get back on the park, or even get a clear injury run for a few more weeks, Sean O’Brien would dearly love to line out for the Barbarians.

During a House of Rugby interview about his impending retirement, O’Brien was asked if he had one final wish before he hung up his playing boots. He replied:

“Probably one thing that I’d love to do, actually, is play with the Barbarians, at some point. It’d have to be soon, though!”

The Baa Baas will take on Eddie Jones’ England at Twickenham on June 19 [kick-off 3pm] in a game that will be shown live on Amazon Prime. This will be the Barbarians first senior men’s game in over two and a half years.

The Barbarians have had two games cancelled after Covid issues and positive tests in the camp. Last year’s planned game at Twickenham was cancelled, on the day, with the women’s match being moved to the main broadcast slot, at Twickenham.

O’Brien has played England seven times in his Test career, winning three times and losing four. Eddie Jones named a 36-man training squad, ahead of that Baa Baas match and their Australia tour, earlier today. The squad includes three of O’Brien’s old British & Irish Lions teammates, Owen Farrell, Mako Vunipola and Manu Tuilagi.