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O'Brien targets All Blacks clash

Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien intends to use his full Test debut to convince head coach Declan Kidney he should start against New Zealand.

O'Brien has replaced David Wallace at openside for Saturday's autumn international against Samoa at Aviva Stadium as one of 10 changes to the side edged by South Africa. The 23-year-old made his debut last November and has been limited to just three Test appearances from the bench amid fierce competition for places in Ireland's back row.

"This is a good chance for me to show Declan how good I am. Samoa are a tough side and I'm looking forward to it," he said. "Hopefully I will have a good game and then selection will be up in the air the following week against the All Blacks. I want to get my role right and have a good game."

He added: "The competition in the back row is unbelievable. There are lots of experienced lads there.

"I'm the youngest and that hasn't always stood me in good stead but at the other end of it, I'm eager and want to prove a point.

"It hasn't been hard to stay patient. It's not like I'm at the end of my career.

"I'm young and have been picking up experience the whole time. Even when training with those lads you're learning.

"You have to stay patient. If you get down because you're not getting an opportunity then it can affect your game.

"I'm happy with the way my game's gone and I have to back it up every week."


From Belfast Telegraph