Ireland Caps: 27 (12-2-13) Ireland Points: 10 (2t)
Ireland Debut: v Fiji* 2009
British & Irish Lions: 0
Lions Debut: NA
Test Record v Australia: 1 (1-0-0)
The rampaging back-row and former Tullow Community School player was part of the Ireland Under-20 side that won the Grand Slam in 2007. O’Brien made his senior Leinster debut against Cardiff Blues in September 2008.
Injury curtailed O’Brien’s season and he did not return for Leinster until September 2010. It was during this comeback year that O’Brien, either wearing the Number 6 or 8 jerseys, would make his mark with the Blues. He scored four tries in nine Heineken Cup outings and was immense in wins over Leicester Tigers and Toulouse in the knock-out stages.
Our rating: /10
O’Brien was deployed, for the most part, in the openside flanker role last season – both for Leinster and Ireland. International commitments meant he played just six PRO12 games but he was an ever-present in the Leinster team that was triumphant for the second year in succession in the Heineken Cup Final. O’Brien was awarded the Man of the Match and scored an important first-half try in his side’s 42-14 victory.
Fan rating: /10
Tour rating: /10