O'Driscoll plays down Super Rugby comments
October 19, 2012
Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll hopes to have put an end to speculation that he will switch to Super Rugby © Getty Images
Brian O'Driscoll has attempted to put an end to speculation linking him with a move to Super Rugby by insisting he has no desire to make such a high-profile switch.
The Leinster and Ireland star sparked widespread reports earlier this month by revealing he would consider moving to the southern hemisphere at the end of his current contract next year. But the 33-year-old, who is set to feature in Leinster's latest Heineken Cup outing against the Scarlets on Saturday, has now distanced himself from his earlier statement.
His headline-grabbing comments stemmed from an interview with an Australian newspaper that formed part of his promotional duties with a major British & Irish Lions sponsor ahead of next year's tour to Australia and the recent appointment of former Leinster coach Michael Cheika as the boss of the Sydney-based Waratahs, who are sponsored by the same company, added fuel to the speculation.
"It is certainly not on my radar at the moment," he told the Irish Independent. "I don't know if I am playing on beyond June. I am contracted until then and I am enjoying it at the moment and I have no plans or desires at the moment to go over there. Michael hasn't been in touch and it's best to nip these things in the bud."
Cheika has always played down the likelihood of his new side acquiring O'Driscoll's services and reiterated his feelings this week. "I rang him straight up and told him to stop marketing himself," he told reporters.
"The top players in the world like Brian would all like to come down and see how they fare here but you have to remember it is very difficult for Irish players to leave Ireland," he added.
''Because when they retire, they get a big tax backpayment. He is obviously one of the highest-paid players in Ireland, so it would be a big decision for him to come here. But there is no doubt the thought about coming down here is with a lot of the top players over there. Whether it becomes a reality is something else.''
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