He may share the same name and position as an international star of the recent past, but Ireland U20s flanker Sean O’Brien plans to make his own reputation.
The Leinster Academy star knows what he can bring to the table for Friday’s Six Nations opener against Scotland at Musgrave Park, (7.15pm).
“I think I am quite good at ball carrying. I just try to be pretty good at everything. I don’t think there is anything in particular that I am brilliant at. I make sure I am working really hard to carry and tackle a lot. In the back-row I can jump the line as well,” he explained.
O’Brien is the latest player to roll off the Blackrock College production line, having secured a Leinster Senior Cup title with the south Dublin school in 2018.
That side was captained by Liam Turner, who was an ever-present for the Ireland U20s on their march to the 2019 Grand Slam success.
Yet, it is the rise of another ‘Rock alum that provides O’Brien with extra incentive to nail down a blindside spot in Noel McNamara’s starting line-up.
“Caelan Doris would have been just three years ahead of me in Blackrock so to see how far he is gone since he left school, gives great encouragement.
It shows if you keep your head down and work hard at U20s level, then you can go the whole way as he has.
While the Ireland squad are now operating out of a new base at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, they recently spent four days at Cork’s Fota Island in a bid to intensify preparations for the Championship.
O’Brien felt this training camp was essential for the champions as they aim to establish team unity in the coming weeks.
“We were just all making a big effort to take ourselves out of our comfort zone. There are 20 lads from Leinster here, it would be so easy for me to sit with them the whole time.
"We are all rooming with lads from different provinces and having meals with lads from other provinces as well. We are building a real bond, which you are going to need going into the Six Nations.”