O'Driscoll "tempted" by Super Rugby switch
April 26, 2011
Brian O'Driscoll played his part in Leinster's quarter-final win over Leicester Tigers © Getty Images
Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll has revealed that he considered joining a Super Rugby side before deciding to sign a new deal with the province.
In February it was announced that the 32-year-old centre had committed himself to Irish rugby until 2013. However, O'Driscoll has now admitted that he did briefly ponder a move 'Down Under'.
"I was tempted by one season of Super 15. That would've been interesting and I had spoken to one person about it in Australia," the Ireland captain told The Guardian.
"I definitely thought that would be an opportunity but different variables in life shape your decision-making. I have a wife (the actor Amy Huberman) with her own profession that I have to consider. On top of that we've built something special at Leinster and that was a big component in my re-signing. In the end it was a bit of a no-brainer."
O'Driscoll is currently 100 percent focused on Saturday's mouth-watering Heineken Cup showdown with reigning champions Toulouse, so much so in fact that he has turned down the opportunity to attend the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey on Friday.
"I have a captain's run on Friday and as big an honour as it was to be invited, I can't ask for team runs to be at half-six in the evening so I can go to the wedding. The team ethos comes first, even after 12 years," he said.
"I know William and he's a nice, chatty, normal guy. On a conversational level with him and (Prince) Harry, it's extremely normal. The rest of their life is abnormal - for want of a better word. But Amy's going as we felt there was an element of our representing Ireland as well. It's going to be an incredible thing, with two billion watching, but I'll be at home, preparing for Toulouse."
Indeed, O'Driscoll is determined to leave no stone unturned as the province goes about trying to make amends for last year's defeat by Toulouse in the last four.
"Being at home is a big advantage. We'll have over 40,000 supporting us and they'll only have 4,000. It's also about being able to sleep in your own bed the night before. It's a small thing but waking up here, at home on Saturday morning, is really important," he said.
"I'll be up early enough for breakfast and lounging around, watching Soccer AM. I'll make my usual lunch at half-twelve. My missus knows to leave me alone. She won't be getting much chat out of me. And then it's off to the game, like any other Magners League or Heineken pool match - except this happens to be a European semi-final.
"Having lost three of them (semi-finals) before I'm avoiding saying anything about gut instinct. Let's just say it's an opportunity for a huge performance - and a chance to get some revenge over Toulouse and to make another European final. That's more than enough to keep the mind focused this week."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson