No bull as O’Brien Sr misses out on Heineken Cup trip for labour of love

Leinster’s Sean O’Brien has been compared to a bull before, but he’ll have calving on his mind after today’s Heineken Cup final in Twickenham.

The Leinster back row’s father, Sean “Cas” O’Brien, looks after the cows on the family farm in Ardristan, near Tullow in Co Carlow, while the Irish flanker bulldozes through the opposition on the rugby field.

Cas had been hoping to travel to the game with the rest of the family, but a few stubborn cows went late into the calving season. Having made the mistake of travelling to England to watch Sean play while the cows were calving once before, and losing a calf, he promised never to do it again.

Instead, he will watch the match from the comfort of Tullow RFC’s bar with several hundred supporters. That is, unless one of their 15 Shorthorn Charolais cross-breeds with a touch of Belgian Blue goes into labour.

He said: “It’s a big disappointment but I’m looking forward to looking at him on the TV.

“I had one calf already and am expecting a few more to calve in the coming days. I’ve been thinking about it these last couple of weeks because these have been hanging on waiting to calve, so I said in the end I wouldn’t bother going.

“If they went the day before yesterday or a couple of days ago I might have went, but there’s no point now. They take their own time.”

And could Murphy’s Law strike and the cows not calve this weekend? “Ah sure don’t you know, they keep it to themselves. The last two were 4am and the one today could go at any time. It’ll be a good auld day in Tullow Rugby Club all the same.

“There will be a good crowd there and any that’s not going will be there or the Tara Arms pub.”

We will be standing up with the Ulster men on our live Heineken Cup blog from London at 4pm tomorrow. Well worth a look.


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