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Rugby

Brian O'Driscoll on Welsh 'rubbish' jibe | 'I'm sure the Irish camp won't like it!'

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

18:45 4 Feb 2021

When there is a diplomatic incident in rugby, Ireland sends in the big guns - cue, Brian O'Driscoll.

After certain pundits - naming no names - labelled Wales a 'rubbish' side, O'Driscoll was quick to clarify a number of points to begin with.

"Of course he's entitled [to reply], but he needs to get one or two facts right, though," O'Driscoll said of Adam Jones' response.

"Ireland won the Grand Slam the year before Wales did so it's not that long ago they have to look. But other than that, they are entitled to feel hard done by.

"That is what they thrive on as well - under Gats, teams were writing them off, saying they played a boring style where it was 'Warrenball' - all this stuff.

"It used to build into this psyche of playing with a bit of a chip on your shoulder. I think you've to find some reason to get yourself back performing again, particularly when you're in a bit of a slump."

Brian O'Driscoll on motivation

O'Driscoll believes that there is a need to find extra impetus in a game with no fans, and this might prove a boon to Wales.

"You have to use soundbites for motivation. You can't rely on the crowd this weekend. I suppose any time someone writes you or your nation off, you take it personally - you do.

"With regard to Ger's comments, I'm sure the Irish camp won't be appreciating it too much. I'm not sure how many times we've gone over to Cardiff and annihilated any Wales team, irrespective of what the form guide has been in advance of it.

"I personally think it'll be much the same again, they'll be playing knowing that their tenure is on the line. Some of them will be playing for their international futures. That brings out the best in people, to produce performances where it has been lacking in the past.

"Six Nations rugby is very different than November series', there is an intangible about it that you can't get your head around until you get involved in it. There is a ferocity to it that there isn't in other games when you play these nations."

Tadhg Beirne

Meanwhile, Brian O'Driscoll believes that Tadhg Beirne could provide 'nuisance' value at 6 as Ireland look to unsettle the Welsh.

BOD believes that there while he has been playing well for Munster, international rugby represents another step up.

"International rugby is different to club rugby, and having big physical attributes is a big aspect - particularly playing in the second row.

"If you put him in the 6 position, you can play lots of variations of 6. You can have CJ as a big, physical ball-carrier, but you can have  nuisances like Alan Quinlan was for years.

"It is really dependent on what way you want to play the game and whether you feel you need a little more grunt up front. That is where maybe [Beirne] goes down the pecking order; if you're looking at size and beef, he doesn't carry the same punch as someone like a Quinn Roux, Iain Henderson or James Ryan.

"But what he does do is pick his moments and he has four or five standout moments a game. That could be the difference between winning and losing Test matches.

"He'll definitely be in the 23, it is just a matter of whether he'll be a starter. I think his chances have opened up all the more with the exclusion of Caelan Doris, and fit into a position - one of the two that he can play."

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