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O’Brien thriving on return to full fitness

O’Brien thriving on return to full fitness

British and Irish Lions flanker Sean O’Brien is confident he will continue going from strength to strength after shaking off his injury woes with a series of impressive performances for Ireland.

British and Irish Lions flanker Sean O’Brien is confident he will continue going from strength to strength after shaking off his injury woes with a series of impressive performances for Ireland.

The 28-year-old, who played two Tests for the Lions in the victorious 2013 tour to Australia, made a winning return to fitness in his first international appearance in over a year against France last month.

That cap followed a torrid end to 2014 for O’Brien as he was forced to undergo his second shoulder reconstruction in less than a year.

But having returned to full fitness sooner than expected, O’Brien insists he never doubted he could battle back to top form once he got back to playing regularly.

“I never had any doubts and I said that before. I had doubts maybe leading back into the year when it was at me and what were we going to get done,” he said.

“But once I had the second operation there was never one ounce of trouble or one setback with my shoulder.

"The biggest pain I had was where they took the bone from my hip. That was probably the pain I had for weeks on end – just soreness – but my shoulder this time never, ever gave me a bit of pain which was very unusual.

"Even the strength and conditioning staff were like: 'this is going nearly too well,' type of thing. The more game time I've got the better it's got as well.

“I think it's just getting used to getting hit again, all those type of things – lifting, being over a ball – the more you do that the more confidence you have."

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