The Irish contingent of the Lions returned home after claiming their first tour victory since 1997.
A comprehensive 41-16 victory over Australia in their final test gave the Lions a 2-1 series triumph and there were plenty of supporters at Dublin airport to welcome home the likes of Jonathan Sexton, O’Brien and Brian O’Driscoll.
For Sexton, immediate thoughts turn to returning to normality before he makes the move to France to link up with his new side Racing Metro.
“It’s good to be home even though we had the time of our lives and spent of big days celebrating, but it’s good to get home and see family and friend,” he said, speaking to RTÉ Sport.
“Hopefully the (Metro) players there are looking forward to working with me as much as I’m looking forward to working with them, I can’t wait to get started with them. Obviously I have to prove myself in a new environment with a new language that I haven’t been practicing very much over the last few weeks.”
Sexton was one of the stars of the show for the Lions throughout the tour, emerging as one of the leading figures on and off the pitch and he capped it off with a fine try in the final test.
“I didn’t have to do too much, I got it when I was a few yards out but obviously it was a big moment in the game and to get on the end of it was nice but there was a lot of hard work from the lads building up to it,” he said reflecting on that moment.
When asked just how big an achievement the tour victory was, the fly-half insisted that it was as important as anything else he’s achieved in his career.
“It’s right up there,” he said. “It’s obviously a special thing just to be picked for the Lions and then to be a winning Lion – there’s not many people that can say they did it. That’s why it’s so unique and special, it doesn’t come around very often either. Everything you win is special for its own reason but this is definitely right up there.”
Back row Sean O’Brien echoed those sentiments. “Playing for the Lions and being picked for the Lions first and foremost is a huge honour for any player but to go out and win a Lions series is something special and it’ll be with us for the rest of our lives,” he insisted.
“We really enjoyed ourselves as a group, got to know each other really well and had some good fun along the way. We did a lot of travelling and didn’t get much down time, but that’s what touring is about. When I look back now, it’s definitely been a really enjoyable tour.
“Starting the third test, playing the way we did and finishing off in the way we did made it all the sweeter,” O’Brien added.