After London Irish announced the signing of Seán O’Brien, fans took to Twitter to show their joy at this news.
The Leinster back-row will join up with Declan Kidney after the World Cup, in what looks to be London Irish’s return to England’s top flight of rugby.
O’Brien has consistently been one of the best forwards in world rugby over the past decade and is a huge signing for a London Irish team that are showing a lot of ambition ahead of next season.
Many fans were quick to reiterate the club’s assertion that this is a statement of intent, particularly amongst other signing.
A number of Leinster fans also commented, saying what a wonderful signing O’Brien will be, and how much he will be missed by the Irish province. After all, he has won four European titles with Leinster, as well as being awarded the European Player of the Year in 2011.
Alongside over 50 Ireland caps, and two tours with the British and Irish Lions, this is an indication of the experience that O’Brien will bring to the Gallagher Premiership.
There were some reservations by the Exiles fans regarding the forward’s fitness. O’Brien has been plagued by injury of the past few years, and while he is always immense whenever he plays, it has been a struggle for both Leo Cullen at Leinster and Joe Schmidt with Ireland to keep him healthy. Furthermore, he will be 32 when he arrives, and would have just come from a taxing World Cup in Japan, so it is unclear how much he will be able to give.
The fans were also keen to pick up on Irish’s free-spending approach heading into next season, and are hoping that this is the start of some new announcements. Either way, London Irish clearly want to be a force next season, rather than a team intent on surviving.
This is what the fans had to say:
— steven pearce (@steve091982) February 11, 2019
— Bryan Monument (@BryanMonument) February 11, 2019
What a statement of intent!! #FailtegoLondain
— Séan Douglas (@eretail) February 11, 2019
Happy days!!! Good Monday made better!! Announcements start now ?!
— josh charlton (@joshcharlton96) February 11, 2019
— raj. (@raj_2406) February 11, 2019
Should get a solid 3 games a season out of him anyway
— Jamie (@jamieparry85) February 11, 2019
Unbelievable signing. Fair play??????
— Morgan (@Hasher83) February 11, 2019
Welcome Sean, so excited about this signing!
— Rory Norris (@RoryNorris) February 11, 2019
Yes!! Huge can't wait for next year!
— James Bunyan (@jamesbunyan) February 11, 2019
How the hell are we pulling these signings off?!
— Conor Tierney (@CPaddyTierney) February 11, 2019
That’s a statement of intent that
— George The Door (@GeorgeTheDoor) February 11, 2019
— Stephen Thomas (@Stephen56120020) February 11, 2019
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