Brendan O'Brien - Columnist - IRISH EXAMINER

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Final place in sporting jigsaw about to fall into place

IT’S 20 years since this column sat down to complete the Leaving Cert – for a second, excruciating time – but it is probably some sort of twisted pseudo-tribute to that daunting time in all our lives that scraps of the information we had to learn by rote occasionally jostle their way back to the forefront of the mind when least expected, writes Brendan O’Brien.

Ian Madigan training yesterday.

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Richie Murphy trusts Ian Madigan to bounce back

Ian Madigan endured a tormenting day with the boot for Leinster against Wasps last weekend but the man who knows his kicking abilities best has backed him to bounce back against Italy on Saturday week, says Brendan O’Brien.

Brendan O Brien

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Handling our boxers with care on the road to Rio

Routes to Olympic qualification continue to multiply but that isn’t to say that getting there is any easier, writes Brendan O’Brien.

Matt O'Connor

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: O’Connor pushing for a complete performance

European Champions Cup Pool 2
Leinster v Castres
Today: RDS, 5.30pm
TV: Sky Sports 2


BRENDAN O'BRIEN: GAA players face a simple choice: Commit, or don’t

GAA players? Why, they’ve never had it so good, writes Brendan O’Brien.


BRENDAN O'BRIEN: It’s about time Tottenham Hotspur dared to think big again

The fact remains that this is a club with a default setting of one step forward followed by two back, writes Brendan O’Brien.


BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Leinster ready to get physical, declares Cullen

Munster-Leinster, with the greatest of respect to Ulster and Connacht, remains the blue chip of Irish interprovincials, but it didn’t appear that way yesterday on the training paddocks in Limerick and Dublin.


BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Glitz and glamour but Bernie Ecclestone’s winning formula still hard to love

All sport is, inherently, ludicrous.


BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Kilty a man with a mission in Rio for Team Ireland

A small ante room in the Westbury Hotel yesterday morning is the setting.

Ian Madigan

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Madigan stands up for under-fire Gopperth and O’Connor

European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 2
Leinster v Harlequins
Saturday: Aviva Stadium, 7.45pm


BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Shuttling round the world for destination Rio

Okay, so here’s the deal. You choose. A week spent in Cork and Dublin, or a destination anywhere else in the world.

Leinster's Dave Kearney is hoping to  make the team  to face Harlequins  in  the Champions Cup clash at the Stoop on Sunday.

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Kearney winging way back to starting spot

There is never a good time to get injured, but some moments are undoubtedly worse than others. Just ask Dave Kearney.

Phil Hughes

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Phil Hughes tragedy reminds us of the inherent dangers in sport

Hippocrates said sport was the preserver of health, writes Brendan O'Brien.

Ireland's Lee Keegan and Aidan O'Shea during a 'recovery session' in the South Pacific Health Club in Melbourne. Picture Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Why it’s time to say goodbye to International Rules

If the GAA and AFL are serious about re-energising the series, they should up sticks and bring it to New York<


BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Are we really in a better place with O'Neill instead of Trap?

In football, there is an infinite number of reasons why a manager can be asked to pack his bags, but the bottom line when the new man is hired is always the same: do better than the last guy.

Matt O'Connor

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: O’Connor urges Ireland to back up win over Boks

It was Matt O’Connor who suggested some weeks ago Ireland needed to beat one of the two southern hemisphere sides this month if they were to be considered a serious World Cup contender in 12 months’ time.


BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Captivating Keane brings far more to the table than he takes

No-one is bigger than the club. It’s a line we hear multiple times every season, even in this post-Bosman era of player power and multi-million pound contracts. It is a line we heard time and again when Roy Keane parted ways with Alex Ferguson and Manchester United back in 2005.

Simon Zebo: We have got off to a great start.

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: We can’t let this be a one-off, says Zebo

Momentum. Simon Zebo referenced it four times inside three minutes as he dissected Ireland’s defeat of South Africa over the weekend and it is a word that must resonate with many of his colleagues inside the Irish dressing-room, writes Brendan O'Brien.


BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Henshaw at home on the big stage

Looks can be deceiving, which is just as well given the picture Robbie Henshaw’s face painted as the Connacht youngster stood listening to the anthems before the biggest examination in his burgeoning career.


BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Whatever Schmidt has, it works

Joe Schmidt must have big sleeves.

All last week, the same refrain was heard: that the Kiwi would have something hidden up those same sleeves with which to flummox South Africa.


BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Meyer altering our perception of South Africa

Meyer couldn’t help but laugh when asked if he is viewed as a risk-taker back home. His response was that the perception is actually very different.

Jonathan Sexton

BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Sexton will be ‘100%’ ready for Springboks

Concerns as to Jonathan Sexton’s fitness ahead of Ireland’s meeting with South Africa have been eased appreciably, with team manager Mick Kearney stressing that the out-half is "100%" ready for Saturday evening’s encounter.