O’Brien: Robshaw’s work-rate ‘unreal’

Date published: February 23 2015

Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien has highly praised England captain Chris Robshaw ahead of their clash this weekend in Dublin.

The two opensides will face off on Sunday with both often praised for their work at the breakdown and impressive engines.

Describing Robshaw as the not the "flashiest" of players, O'Brien has been impressed by his leadership.

The Leinster back-rower also added that Ireland would be keeping a close eye on powerful number eight Billy Vunipola.

"(Robshaw) has unreal work-rate. He goes about his business quietly. He is one of those fellas who doesn't say much but he leads by example. That's part of their culture and he is a good example of what they are trying to do," O'Brien told the IRFU website.

"He represents them really well off the field. He mightn't be the flashiest player but you don't need to be flashy to work hard.

"He (Vunipola) is a type of fella that when he gets his dander up, he is someone that we'll have to keep a close eye on. He's obviously a big man and he's able to carry ball.

"We've seen from that Munster game (against Saracens in January), the damage he can do when he gets a head of steam up. He's a big part of where England are going to be going with ball-in-hand."

As for England as a whole, O'Brien views them as "a way more complete" side than France, who Ireland defeated in Round 2 of the Six Nations on February 14.

"There's history there, Ireland, England. I think the fans probably build it up to more than it is. The players are focused on getting their own things right. It's another game for us, but Ireland against England…that does excite you.

"England are a way more complete team than France so they are going to be a lot better. They are more structured and have more about them. They are very dangerous, especially with the new wingers they have and the centre combination. It's going to be a very tough day at the office again.

"I don't know if we owe them one but last year's game (a 13-10 defeat at Twickenham) I thought we had opportunities to win it. Little bits and pieces let us down. If we rectify them and make sure our detail and our game-plan are 100 perent, we will be in a good place."