London Irish flanker Sean O’Brien has shared a message thanking all those who helped him successfully return to rugby after his recent debut for the Gallagher Premiership club. Despite joining Declan Kidney’s side last summer from Leinster, a hip injury prevented him from playing and it also deprived him of a chance of playing for Ireland at the World Cup in Japan. 

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It was only last month, in the final round of top-flight league fixtures played before the tournament’s suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, that the back row finally managed to make his Exiles debut.

Now stuck on the sidelines again with no sign of matches being played in the near future, he has now taken to Instagram to reflect on his recovery, while also sharing footage of his debut at Sale as well as an X-ray of his hip resurfacing. 

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He wrote: “I never put up a post after getting back to rugby after a hip resurfacing and ten months of rehab as I thought I’d get a few more games under my belt. It’s not looking likely anytime soon but I just wanted to thank a few people who enabled me to get back to playing and doing what I love.”

The 33-year-old also thanked the surgeons and the various medical departments that helped him over the past ten months, particularly in the transition between two clubs. That could have caused complications, as the flanker was not fit when arriving at London Irish. 

Given the injuries that O’Brien had endured throughout his career and the amount of rugby he missed, his latest problem led to calls for him to retire.

 

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On a positive note… I never put up a post after getting back to rugby after a hip resurfacing and 10 months of rehab as I thought I’d get a few more games under my belt, not looking likely anytime soon but I just wanted to thank a few people who enabled me to get back to playing and doing what I love! To @fearghalkerin and Gareth for your patience and understanding and all the medical department and staff @leinsterrugby for their support through all of this was nothing short of phenomenal! To @profgriffin for explaining in every detail what was entailed in the surgery and his physios who looked after me so well! To @londonirish1898 for the brilliant communication and seem less transition from Leinster to you guys,Brian and Nick and the entire medical and S&C team were outstanding. And lastly to my friends and family and loved ones for your constant support, it drove me at times when people said I’d never get back or that I was crazy to try! I’m back and looking forward to what’s ahead of me with @londonirish1898 and where we can go as a club and I’m one happy man. #staypositive #wecanallgetoveranything

A post shared by Seanobrien678 (@seanobrien678) on

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“Lastly to my friends and family and loved ones for your constant support, it drove me at times when people said I’d never get back or that I was crazy to try. I’m back and looking forward to what is ahead of me with London Irish and where we can go as a club. I’m one happy man.”

The Irishman was one of the headline signings for the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership and London Irish can now look forward to having him fit for when the reason resumes. 

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