Brendan O'Brien - Columnist - IRISH EXAMINER

Phil Hughes

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Phil Hughes tragedy reminds us of the inherent dangers in sport

Hippocrates said sport was the preserver of health.

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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 OBRIEN: 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<

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: 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.

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Matt O'Connor

BRENDAN OBRIEN: 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.

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Picture: SPORTSFILE

BRENDAN OBRIEN: 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.

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

BRENDAN OBRIEN: 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.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: 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.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: 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.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: 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.

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Jonathan Sexton

BRENDAN OBRIEN: 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.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Ireland may have to endure some November pain

The new European gig was gripping at times but it did little to divert the impression the provinces are slipping under the shadow of an Ireland team on the up.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Can you call yourself a ‘true’ sports fan?

Brian O’Driscoll’s latest book supposedly makes for an interesting read when digested in large chunks, but the extracts have fallen well short of Roy Keane’s on the Richter scale.

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Ian Keatley

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Keatley Irish selection at Jackson’s expense a major call by Schmidt

Ian Keatley’s inclusion and Paddy Jackson’s absence will prompt much of the debate surrounding the squad Joe Schmidt has chosen to do battle with South Africa, Georgia and Australia next month.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Spirit of the Gael can only bring Ireland so far

Since that 1-0 defeat of the Dutch 13 years ago, Ireland have played 32 competitive games at Lansdowne Road, Croke Park and at the Aviva.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Another moment of magic in Germany for proud O’Neill

It has been an international period dominated by his assistant Roy Keane, but Martin O’Neill was entitled to the final word last night.

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Robbie Keane

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Keane front and centre for Ireland

For all the talk of Martin O’Neill and his horses for courses, there was a familiar look to Ireland’s pre-match press conference at the Veltins Arena last night as Robbie Keane took his place beside the national team manager, writes Brendan O'Brien.

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Joachim Loew Training

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Bracing for the backlash from Germany

FEW teams marry style and substance like ‘Die Mannschaft’, writes Brendan O'Brien.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Pain-free Keane insists team comes before goal records

Robbie Keane is no stranger to headlines, but edging namesake Roy off the back pages yesterday stands up there with the most remarkable of his achievements given he was performing against a side like Gibraltar.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Big hitters making the TV deals you’ll pay for

Let’s start with a question. What, in your opinion, is the most important fixture on the sports calendar this week?

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Jimmy Gopperth

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Reds ‘outpassioned’ us, says chastened Gopperth

Too often we lump antipodeans into the same cultural basket.

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Anthony Foley

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Provinces find themselves at crossroads on and off the rugby pitch

It is hard to avoid the sense that Ireland’s rugby provinces now find themselves at a crossroads, suggests Brendan O'Brien

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: American plates piled high with local delicacies

Not a puck did we see of Saturday’s All-Ireland hurling final replay.

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Eamonn Fitzmaurice

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Fitz embraces feeling

Feelings.
You won’t hear managers talk about their innermost ones all too often, but Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s year has been punctuated with an inner sense that things were slotting in to place if an All-Ireland title was to be claimed.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Irish cricket set for golden age after Indian summer

You may or may not have heard the news about Cricket Ireland’s rather stunning sponsorship coup earlier this week.

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Eoin Reddan

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Reddan won’t be looking over his shoulder for rising stars

The first interpro of the rugby season slides into focus on Friday as Connacht host Leinster but Eoin Reddan won’t be paying any heed to the familiar subplots comparing rival players and their Test place chances.

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Eamon McGee

BRENDAN OBRIEN: McGee: Attitude right to take care of ‘unfinished business’

Eamon McGee just couldn’t take it anymore.

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Paul Durcan

BRENDAN OBRIEN: Durcan hoping to steer Donegal into winning position again

Ask Paul Durcan what swung the All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin in favour of Donegal and he will plump for what he terms his side’s "exceptional attacking play", but the goalkeeper was the lead character in the passion play’s seminal moment.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Clubs stranded between a rock and a hard place

The changing names of those clubs filling out the fixtures and tables are to be welcomed on the basis that change is not to be feared.

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Jim Gavin - dignified in defeat

BRENDAN OBRIEN: The angry approach to management

If the last week has shown us anything — and we say this without any intended pun regarding the coming All-Ireland hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary — it is that there is more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to the tricky business of managing a team.

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BRENDAN OBRIEN: Little to stir the blood in lifeless affair

That’s that, then. The last box finally ticked after eight largely forgettable friendlies that yawned across the course of 10 interminable months, in four different countries and against opposition from three continents.

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