Seán O'Brien has been announced as the new contact skills coach for Leinster rugby.
He replaces Denis Leamy, who was confirmed today as Munster's new defence coach, a move that has been largely known for weeks.
O'Brien, one of the greatest to ever play for Leinster, has stepped into coaching immediately, having recently announced his retirement from professional rugby after playing his final season with London Irish this year.
O'Brien released a statement via Leinster rugby following the announcement:
“I always said that you’d never know what the future holds and I’ve taken my time to work out what’s next for me. While I have loved my time with London Irish and living in London, the time is right to move back home and this is a brilliant opportunity now to get back and to get back to work with Leinster Rugby.
“I’d like to thank Leo for the opportunity and it’s an exciting one. Building on the great work of Hugh Hogan and most recently Denis Leamy, I can’t wait to get stuck in.
“Working with players that I already know but there is also some real talent coming through and to be having my first coaching opportunity back home at Leinster, is pretty special. They’ve got a busy week ahead of them with Glasgow to come on Saturday and I’ll be a very keen supporter watching them to the end of the season.”
📢 | Leinster Rugby can confirm the appointment of former Leinster, Ireland and British and Irish Lions back row, Seán O’Brien, as Contact Skills Coach ahead of the start of next season.
📰 | Read the full story: https://t.co/3ExXKOVmSF#FromTheGroundUp pic.twitter.com/wXZqmZYCin
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) June 1, 2022
Leinster head coach and ex-teammate of O'Brien Leo Cullen, also gave his thoughts on the appointment:
"It is great to be able to welcome Seán back home to Leinster. On the rugby pitch, Seán at his best was virtually unplayable and he was an amazing contributor to Leinster, Ireland and the Lions. In a Leinster shirt, he played a key role in some of our greatest days on the European stage and we hope he can pass on some of his vast experience and winning mentality to our current squad.
“I know that Seán has always been a keen student of the game and has been heavily involved with coaching in Tullow RFC going back to his early playing days. We believe he has a very bright future in coaching and I think it’s a win-win for both sides to have him back here.
“In addition to his experience, Seán has always been a brilliant presence in the Leinster changing room and I think our group will be excited and energised by having him back involved.”