Irish combination fit and firing

Mon, 27 May 2013 12:59
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The Leinster duo of Rob Kearney and Sean O'Brien missed out on the Pro12 final in order to be fully fit to get on the plane to Australia with the British and Irish Lions.

The Leinster duo of Rob Kearney and Sean O'Brien missed out on the Pro12 final in order to be fully fit to get on the plane to Australia with the British and Irish Lions.

The two of them had slight injuries and withdrew themselves from the Leinster side that beat Ulster in the final of the Pro12 on Saturday.

Kearney withdrew during the warm-up for the final with a tight hamstring and confirmed that he was fully fit for his second Lions tour.

"It's only now after being picked for a second Lions tour that I realise how difficult it is to get selected for successive trips. I really enjoyed the last tour and can't wait to join up with the squad for this tour.

"It was the right decision to pull out of the game, although it was a difficult thing to do. I had felt some tightness in my hamstring earlier in the day and I just didn't feel myself in the warm-up," Kearney told lionsrugby.com.

Missing out on a final is something that no player wants to do but with the ability in the Leinster squad meant that he felt confident with his replacement.

"We have got so much strength in depth in the Leinster squad that I knew someone could easily cover for me. In the end I'm just glad the guys got the job done.

"There won't be any problems moving forward and I should be fit for next weekend, although I would be surprised if I was involved in the game in Hong Kong," Kearney added.

O'Brien was worried that the bruising on his leg bone was going to get worse so he decided to pull out of the fixture against Ulster and was replaced by Shane Jennings who scored the first try and was named man of the match.

The Irish flank mentioned: "It was just one of those things that wasn't worth risking. If the bruising on my bone had got any worse then I could have been facing a couple of weeks out.

"But now I'm just looking forward massively to the next few weeks and playing for the Lions," he added excitedly.

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