Belfast Telegraph

O'Brien absence isn't a concern for Leinster says coach Lancaster

 

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

Seán O'Brien is a major doubt for Leinster's European Champions Cup opener against Montpellier on Saturday after missing training at UCD yesterday.

The flanker and captain Isa Nacewa are the province's main injury doubts ahead of the pivotal RDS clash against the star-studded Top14 outfit, who have recruited heavily ahead of the new campaign.

Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster was upbeat on Nacewa's prospects of making an earlier-than-expected return, but he was more cautious on the Lion's availability.

"We'll see how he plays out throughout the week. There's been no definitive decision yet," he said.

"It will depend on the next 24-48 hours. I was really pleased how the back-row went last week. If Seanie doesn't pull through I'm still very happy where we are at."

Lancaster was yesterday back in the firing line over his role in England's 2015 World Cup pool exit after his former RFU colleague Rob Andrew had scathing extracts published from his book.

The 48-year-old opted not to hit back at the ex-out-half and insisted he is not out to prove himself at Leinster.

"Every coach's aim is to deliver trophies to the team, and my aim is not motivated by proving people wrong or trying to change people's perceptions," he said.

Lancaster believes the Irish European challenge is strong this year.

"The expectations should be there for the Irish teams," he said."There are four quality teams."

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