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Sean O'Brien not giving up on Ireland after London switch

Sean O'Brien has shed tears over his decision to quit Leinster for London Irish later this year but the veteran flanker is adamant that the move will not bring down the curtain on his international career.

The flanker will join up with Declan Kidney at the English outfit after this year's World Cup, bringing to an end a decade of service with his home province. It is a decision that he has described as the “toughest thing I ever had to do”.

But there is an excitement about the prospect of beginning a new chapter on his career with a club that is expected to confirm its promotion back to the Gallagher Premiership in the not-too-distant future under Kidney, under whom he made his debut with Ireland a decade ago.

“He wants to bring the club to a real competitive place in the Premiership hopefully, develop a lot of the younger guys and create a really good culture there. He’s done a great job from what he’s said to me and what I have seen so far in bits and pieces.

“Obviously it’ll be a different kettle of fish when they get back into the Premiership. He didn’t have to sell it too much to me, they are things I enjoy doing. There are a lot of younger lads coming through their academy, there is a big focus on them for the past couple of seasons.

“You can see a lot of them are getting their chances in the last few games. I have been keeping one eye on (them) as such. That’s a major part of it and the brand of rugby they are trying to play is going to be an exciting brand of rugby hopefully. They have some nice classy players.”