Sean O’Brien Explains Why He Was P***ed Off When He Was Substituted The Weekend
Leo Cullen revealed on Sunday that his decision to withdraw Johnny Sexton and Sean O’Brien at half-time was not down to injury.
Leinster suffered a 22-16 defeat to Montepellier in their round two clash, with Cullen revealing that the star duo were not happy with his decision. The Leinster coach decided to replace the Lions pair at the interval, with Joey Carbery and Jordi Murphy coming on to the field.
O’Brien was making his first appearance since February, while Sexton was an injury doubt all week after missing the opening Champions Cup game against Castres with a hamstring strain.
Cullen said the call to remove the key duo was in part down to the heavy pitch and said that they were unhappy to be replaced.
“Him and Seany, the two of them are coming back in. We’re making assessments all week on those guys on what’s suitable and not putting guys at unnecessary risk,” Cullen said.
“The two of them came through and they were p***ed off coming off at half-time because we made the call.
O’Brien spoke to SportsJoe about the game on Tuesday and reveals he just wanted to get some game-time under his belt.
“Hopefully I’ll get through this weekend now, get a bit of form and put my hand up.”
“The coach made a decision to take me off at half-time, and I wanted to stay on for another bit. But look at that level, not having played for nine months, it’s about getting back into it, getting more minutes under the belt and moving forward to just get that bit of sharpness back.
If I was out there trucking around and not doing much for the next 10 minutes I wouldn’t be adding much value to the team.
“While you never want to come off, it’s probably the right thing to do in this situation.
“Your adrenaline is going and you want to add to the team, you want to try and win the game. That’s just the way it is, that’s the competitive nature we all have in us.”
When asked about Cullen saying he was ‘p***sed off” he said,
Yeah, it is [close to the mark]. I think if you ask any player when they’re taken off, they’re always going to be pissed off.
It’s a natural reaction, I think, but you just suck it up and you realise that there’s a bigger picture to look at here and you don’t be selfish about it.”
Leinster host Connacht on Saturday at the RDS and O’Brien will no doubt be hoping he can make it through the full 80 minutes.