Sean O'Brien focused on Canada match after missing New Zealand triumph

Sean O'Brien pulled up after 20 minutes of Ireland's Six Nations game against France in February
Sean O'Brien pulled up after 20 minutes of Ireland's Six Nations game against France in February

Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien has admitted to "not fully seeing eye to eye" with coach Joe Schmidt's decision to omit him from Saturday's historic maiden win over New Zealand in Chicago.

O'Brien continued his recovery from long-term injury by playing in Leinster's win against Zebre instead.

The forward, 29, insists he felt "100%" fit and was ready to play for Ireland.

And he added he "wouldn't say he completely agreed" with being left out for the 40-29 win at Soldier Field.

"But that's the call they made. I did need more game-time, but you always back yourself if called upon to do a good job," he continued.

"I've had no issues. I felt better every week and getting that game conditioning under my belt. I would have been 100% if selected [for Chicago].

Ireland's remaining 2016 autumn internationals
12 Novemberv CanadaAviva Stadium, Dublin19:15 GMT
19 Novemberv New ZealandAviva Stadium, Dublin17:30 GMT
26 Novemberv AustraliaAviva Stadium, Dublin17:30 GMT

"Looking at it now, I'm probably better off getting more game-time like I did at the weekend and being introduced back in this week."

O'Brien has not featured in Test rugby since February, when he suffered a severe hamstring injury in Six Nations action against France.

"I was delighted for the lads in Chicago. Obviously disappointed not to be over there and involved, but the lads put in a serious performance and effort. You could only be happy for them."

Munster flanker Peter O'Mahony was also given an extra weekend to recover from his long-term knee ligament damage, turning out for the province in their 33-0 win over Ospreys instead, but both players are now on the cusp of full match fitness and can be expected to be unleashed against Canada this weekend.

"It's a huge game, a huge game for everyone. You can be sure Canada will be preparing to come and beat us," O'Brien said of Saturday's encounter.

"Once you've been away from the set-up for a long time, pulling on an Irish jersey is going to mean a lot this weekend. So that's what I'm looking forward to."

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