Ireland and Leinster back row Sean O’Brien is set to join London Irish after the World Cup this year.
Leinster today confirmed that the 31-year-old O’Brien will move to Declan Kidney’s side later on this year. O’Brien is currently on a central IRFU contract.
O’Brien turns 32-years-old later this month and is now entering the latter stages of his career. As a result, the union were unwilling to hand him a new long-term deal.
London Irish are believed to have made Leinster an offer of around
€ 400 000 per season which is similar to what he currently gets.
Previously O’Brien has been part of two British and Lions tours. These came in 2013 and 2017 and he started all three Tests against New Zealand during the latter trip.
“Seán has been a key driver of Leinster Rugby’s success over the last ten years and played a pivotal role in our four Heineken Cup-winning seasons.
“He has not only been a world class player on the field, but has also made an incredible impact in growing the game all over the province. He has also been a model professional and a shining example to our young and Academy players.
“As a teammate, Seán was the sort of competitor you always wanted beside you. He is the kind of player who gives you the confidence that anything is possible – nothing fazes him and he always led from the front.
“Everyone at Leinster wishes only the very best for Seánie in his future as he embarks on a new challenge. We will all miss him greatly, but his legacy here will live on as he has influenced so many of us in such a positive way.
“For now, we hope to finish this season strongly and, after his disappointment of missing out on a number of big games last season through injury, we hope Seán can play a major part in Leinster’s push for silverware in two competitions this season.”
For his part O’Brien said, “This is one of the hardest decisions that I have ever had to make. I have played all my rugby in Ireland.
“With Tullow, with Leinster and with Ireland and to move from the place I call home and that I love so much, was not easy.
“That being said, I feel that the time has come to explore other opportunities, to challenge myself at a new environment, in a new city, with a new club and against different players and teams on a weekly basis. London Irish and what they are about is a club that I feel I can grow with and also contribute to and I feel that they have a set up and an ethos that will make me feel at home.
“For me and the time I have left here in Ireland, I want to stay fit and healthy and finish out the season with a strong Six Nations with Ireland and then turn my attention to Leinster and hopefully a seat on the plane to Japan.
“Thanks to my family, friends and my girlfriend Sarah for their unbelievable support in making this decision and of course the fans for all the support I’ve received over the past 13 years. I am looking forward to representing Leinster and Ireland as best as I can over the next nine months.”
London Irish really are making waves in the transfer market!
They’ve already snapped up fellow British Lion Alan Dell and Wallabies Nick Phipps and Curtis Rona. They’ve also secured the services of Ian Keatley until the end of the season and have been heavily linked with Paddy Jackson ahead of their predicted return to the Gallagher Premiership next season.
Gloucester Rugby v Worcester Warriors will not go ahead as planned
Following confirmation from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) that Worcester Warriors have been suspended from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Gloucester Rugby’s Round 3 fixture versus the Warriors – scheduled for Saturday 1 October – will not go ahead as had been planned.
The Club awaits further information as to whether the fixture is cancelled or postponed and will update supporters as soon as possible thereafter.
Our thoughts go to Worcester Warriors players, staff and supporters following the news of their suspension from the league. We hope to see them return to the Premiership again soon.
Open training this weekend
In absence of a fixture this weekend, Gloucester Rugby is opening the gates for supporters – regardless of whether they have a ticket to the Worcester fixture – to come and watch the first team train, followed by a signing session.
Attendance is free although supporters will need a ticket for entry – simply click here to get yours.
Gates will open at 12pm with the training session running from 12.30-2pm. Following the conclusion of open training, a signing session will take place pitch-side, while Saracens v Leicester Tigers, live on BT Sport from 3pm, will also be available on the screens in the Stowford Press Clubhouse.
Next up at Holm
Bristol Bears will visit Kingsholm on Saturday 15 October and it promises to be a game not to miss! Tickets are available now from just £25 for adults and £15 for children. Click here to purchase.
For any enquiries please email [email protected]
Worcester Warriors submit request for DCMS to appoint administrators
Worcester Warriors can confirm that WRFC Trading Limited, the company that owns the Worcester Warriors Premiership rugby club, has today asked DCMS to place the club into administration.
DCMS will now apply to the court to appoint administrators.
As negotiations with possible investors have still not led to critically-needed funding, administration is seen as the best solution to safeguard the interests of the business and ensure the best chances of a solution that saves the club.
It is hoped that this course of action will help to bring forward interested purchasers who may be able to preserve the club.
Once appointed, administrators will communicate with staff, supporters, partners, sponsors and creditors about timescales and processes to seek a purchaser.
Warriors owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham said: “We are grateful to DCMS and Sport England as the Covid19 loan Programme Manager for accepting our request to place the club into administration.
“Both the club and DCMS will continue to co-ordinate efforts to find a rescue for the club if there is any possibility of it being saved.
“The administrators will assess any rescue options for some or all of the business as and when offers are made, while ensuring public funds are protected.”
Images & Content from Worcester Warriors
RFU issue statement on Worcester future
RFU Statement: Worcester Warriors
The owners of Worcester Warriors have not met the RFU’s 5pm deadline to evidence insurance cover, availability of funds to meet the monthly payroll, and a credible plan to take the club forward.
The RFU has therefore suspended Worcester Warriors from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Allianz Premier 15s, U18s Academy Cup and Allianz Cup with immediate effect.
Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO said;
“We appreciate this is incredibly difficult news for fans, staff and players. We would like to thank the staff and players who have worked tirelessly over recent weeks to enable matches to continue.
“We met with players and staff last week to explain why this action would be necessary and regrettably without assurances in place we have had to take this action to protect everyone’s best interests.
“We hope a buyer can be secured to allow Worcester Warriors and The University of Worcester Warriors to return to professional league rugby. While it is the responsibility of each business owner to manage their individual finances, we will look at learnings from this situation to see what regulation can be put in place to provide all parties with more financial transparency. Rugby is a relatively young professional sport and it has been widely recognised that clubs have been facing financial challenges even before Covid.
“Successful professional leagues are vital for the wellbeing of the whole game. They inspire current and future players, delight fans by showcasing high skill levels and the exciting nature of our game. This is why it is so important that we continue to work with Premiership Rugby to improve the structure, governance and business model of rugby union in England.
“The RFU will continue to support community rugby in Worcester and is fully committed to ensuring local academy opportunities are provided for pathway players.”
The RFU will work with Premiership Rugby and DCMS to establish next steps for the club and what this will mean for the Gallagher Premiership, the men’s Academy and Allianz Premier 15s competitions.
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