O'Driscoll open to Super Rugby switch
October 6, 2012
Brian O'Driscoll will spearhead his side's latest quest for Heineken Cup honours © Getty Images
Leinster and Ireland talisman Brian O'Driscoll has revealed he would consider a high-profile switch to the Super Rugby stage.
The 33-year-old centre is contracted with his province and the Irish Rugby Football Union until the middle of next year but the Sydney-based Waratahs' recent recruitment of former Leinster coach Michael Cheika has opened the door for a possible move Down Under in time for the 2014 Super Rugby season.
O'Driscoll told the Australian Daily Telegraph that although family logistics may make such a move difficult, he is tempted by the prospect and would happily discuss it with Chieka with whom he worked closely during his five-year tenure in Dublin.
"What excites me is the challenge of playing against the calibre of player you are playing week-in, week-out down there,'' O'Driscoll said. "That is an exciting prospect. But whether all the pieces fit, I don't know. At this moment in time, probably not but 'Cheiks' has my number, so if he wants to give me a call, he knows how to get me.''
O'Driscoll also revealed that he has long held an ambition to play Super Rugby and went as far as to inquire about a move last year. "Just before the World Cup I thought about the possibility of last year maybe taking a little bit of downtime after the World Cup, and playing a year of Super Rugby,'' O'Driscoll said.
"The three best teams in the world make up the Super 15, and you look at the individuals and you look at the calibre of sides and the quality of Super Rugby and the intensity of it, obviously it is a hugely high standard...I am contracted only to June, so whether I play on for another year after that, the body will be able to tell me later on this year."
Cheika was sceptical about acquiring O'Driscoll's services but told the newspaper that he was convinced O'Driscoll still had plenty to offer any side. "O'Driscoll is a class act both on and off the field and I'm sure we'll see that class from him during the Lions tour next year,'' he said.
"Brian is a Leinster man through and through. Sydney is a long way from Dublin, so I'd say the only chance of him playing Super Rugby is if we kidnap him during our tour match against the Lions next June. I will say though he is one northern hemisphere player who I am sure would be able to be a dominant figure in the southern hemisphere tournament.''
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'