Rugby

'I Was In The Tractor The Other Day Thinking How Lucky Farmers Are'

'I Was In The Tractor The Other Day Thinking How Lucky Farmers Are'

Sean O'Brien has been keeping busy on the farm in Carlow during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Now with English Premiership side London Irish, the 33-year-old says that recent weeks have given him the opportunity to get into the best shape of his life.

"I'm back home in Tullow at the minute," O'Brien said in an interview to promote McSport's My Motivation campaign.

"I've been farming for the last few weeks. I was Mayo for seven weeks, got home as things were getting more difficult down here.

"I've nearly got all the cows calved at this stage. I've started a little extension on a cottage beside the house - I'm getting lots of work done anyway.

"I've been up at 7:30 every morning and not finishing until 9:30 or 10 at night. Then you're trying to fit in a few training sessions around that as well.

"I was in the tractor the other day thinking how lucky we are, farmers, to be able to do what we do. You're on your own the majority of the time. It's a nice way to get a release - you're busy and the days go by quickly.

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"It is a nice lifestyle. It might be a lot of work but it's nice at this time of the year when the weather's good. I realised since I've come back home that the work makes me happy and keeps the mind right."

O'Brien initially thought that the rugby season could not have been halted at a worse team. After joining London Irish while injured, the Ireland international only made his debut for the club in early March.

"Looking back now, in the last eight or nine weeks, it's been brilliant for my body," he said.

"I don't think I've ever been as fit as I am right now. I did some running tests two weeks ago and hadn't had scored like it since 2017. It's given me a big opportunity to get a lot of work through the body.

"It's an opportunity to get yourself in the best shape of your life or you can go in the opposite way and sit on your arse all day."

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The former Leinster player believes that writing down goals - both short and long-term - makes it more likely that you will hit them.

He's unsure when exactly rugby will return to proper action, though he is pretty sure it won't be any time soon.

"We might end up playing tag rugby!" he said.

"I know from talking to certain lads in the Premiership and a few other people that they have parents living with them, big families. All that has to be taken into account. We want to get back playing rugby but we get back playing in a safe and manageable way. I think it will be the last thing to go back, maybe not training, but definitely playing games.

"My goal is to get back playing rugby as soon as I can! I've only played 48 minutes in the last year and a bit!."

Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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