He was on the sidelines during Tullow’s Provincial Towns Cup Final victory over Kilkenny earlier this year and now it looks like he’ll be able to pull on a jersey this coming season.
Per the Irish Independent, Tullow club legend, former Irish rugby international, Lion and current Leinster coach Sean O’Brien has been given the green light to line out for his hometown club for the 2023/24 season.
An application for O’Brien (36) to take up with Tullow was rejected last season due to rules around players transitioning to junior rugby from the professional ranks on retirement, a scenario that saw ‘The Tullow Tank’ take up with Naas instead. That all seems to have changed, however, with Leinster Rugby granting a special dispensation to return to Black Gates as a player in a competitive setting.
While we’re not expecting to see O’Brien line out too often during the regular Leinster League season given his provincial commitments, there is the small matter of Tullow being able to retain a Provincial Towns Cup. They won their first in 2017 against Skerries in Athy, going back to the same venue in April this year to put Kilkenny to the sword and claim the most coveted title in Leinster club rugby for only the second time in the club’s history.
Having secured the Leinster League Division 1B title last season and replacing Kilkenny in the top flight, Tullow will be rubbing shoulders with Gorey, Bective, Seapoint and more in Division 1A this coming season. They’ll begin their 2023/24 league season away to Suttonians on Saturday 16 September.
Whenever he gets to feature, you can be sure a crowd will follow, whether to Black Gates or further afield.