Connacht’s Seán O’Brien retires after concussion injury

The Galway native made 60 appearances for his province in a career cut short

Connacht’s Sean O’Brien has been forced to retire. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht’s Sean O’Brien has been forced to retire. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Connacht flanker Sean O’Brien has been forced to retire from playing rugby on medical grounds following a concussion injury. The desperately sad news comes six weeks after the province’s 25-year-old utility back Stephen Fitzgerald announced his retirement due to a knee injury.

A Connacht statement confirming O’Brien’s decision expressed their regret over his enforced retirement.

A Galway native, O’Brien came through the Connacht Academy having represented Ireland at under-18, under-19 and under-20 level. He was also captain of the Ireland under-20s at the 2014 Junior World Championships.

He made his senior Connacht debut away to Enisey-STM during the 2015/16 Challenge Cup, and came off the bench in the Guinness Pro12 Grand Final that same season when the province beat Leinster at Murrayfield to claim the title. A first senior contract soon followed and in total he has made 60 appearances for his home province.

O’Brien said in the statement: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Connacht Rugby for making a young boy’s dream come true. The memories and friendships made will last a lifetime.

“I’d also like to thank all those in Wegians, Roscrea and Calasanctius who played their part in making it possible, and in particular my Dad Iain who coached me throughout my youth.

“Not everyone gets a fairytale ending but I will never forget just how lucky I was to be a part of this club.

“I am looking forward to cheering in the stands. Sean”

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