IRELAND’S FALTERING SIX Nations campaign dominated the agenda when Brian O’Driscoll sat down with the media yesterday — but there was plenty to talk about, both on and off the pitch.
Here’s what BOD had to say about Scotland, Sadie and his rugby future among other things:
On Sunday’s defeat to Scotland
I was asked earlier if it was one of the most embarrassing defeats — absolutely not. One of the most frustrating, sure, and one of the most shocking, probably, but embarassing, no.
I’ve played in games where we created nothing and were beaten out the gate. We created a huge amount in that first half, we just butchered the final pass three or four times. It’s those things in test matches that are the difference.
On Jamie Heaslip’s captaincy
No one cracks it at the first three or four games as captain, you constantly get better the more you do it, and I have absolutely no concerns about him.
On Paddy Jackson’s debut
Take Paddy’s kicking from the ground away from his performance at the weekend, he was very good. He was really good. He threatened, he brought the ball to the line, his passing was really crisp.
I thought Paddy played a very, very nice game, albeit he didn’t kick his goals the way I suppose Irish 10s are expected to. There was a lot of pressure put on him because he hasn’t been kicking for Ulster this year and that’s a big ask on your first cap but I would imagine that Paddy will get a lot of caps.
I don’t have any worries about Paddy because I like him as a player. I think he’s a lovely footballer and good footballers tend to stay the course.
On Declan Kidney’s future
Obviously the IRFU will make the decision themselves and that’s their role. It’s not the player role to do that. We know that Declan is certainly contracted until the summer tour and all the management that are there are going to be involved for the next two games at the very least, so let’s go about trying to win both of them.
On his physical recovery
On a tough day it can take me 54, 72 hours post-game. For 48 hours I don’t really do a huge amount. I do recovery myself . I did recovery yesterday morning, I’ll do recovery today just because I need to keep myself going — I don’t want rigor mortis to set in.But I enjoy that too. I enjoy the challenge of getting yourself back to be ready for the following week.
On his future
[Leinster] are not putting massive pressure on me. Obviously they would like to know and I know they are keen for me to sign up for another year but I just want to be able to play this Six Nations out and get a full understanding of how I’m going to feel when we come into March.
I’m generating a little bit of an opinion in my own head but I just need to be able to play some more games to make that decision.
On his baby daughter Sadie
Priorities change in a couple of ways: you obviously want to look after your family but at the same time, for a long time rugby was the be all and end all and absolutely it isn’t that now. There was a huge priority swing with my daughter coming.
Even the defeat at the weekend, that was very painful, but when you go home to your wife and daughter you’re able to shelve that part of your life and be happy in your new world.
It gives you a bigger perspective on life in general, being able to understand what’s important, and your family is most important.
I didn’t see much of them in November but I believe they were very effective. Obviously they had a big win against Australia and any time you put that many points on Australia, you know you’re playing well.
You always worry when you play against the French because if they start going in the first 10 or 15 minutes, you know that they can go for 80. That hasn’t happened for them yet in the Six Nations. They showed glimpses of it against England.
A big thing in our heads is to stay with them for as long as possible. If you can stay with them for 65, 70 minutes, within touching distance, I think the beating of them is within that. If they get ahead they start playing the flair rugby that they love, passes stick, and you’re chasing shadows.