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'It is something to be envious about' | BOD on Wales success

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

17:24 2 Mar 2021


Brian O'Driscoll joined Off The Ball where he reflected on Wales eyeing up another possible Grand Slam, something that seemed unlikely in early February.

It is Italy up next for Wales before a tilt at another Championship against France, and O'Driscoll was impressed.

"It is amazing really, you have to take your hat off to Wales," the former Ireland captain said.

"They just find a way to just keep in the point, in the game, in the tournament. Now all of a sudden they are contenders.

"In the first couple of games, they could easily have been zero from two, but they managed to win both.

"It is never difficult for them to get up for a game against England. and now heading to the Parc des Princes with a Grand Slam at stake."

Not a good Wales team

Like many observers, O'Driscoll is pleasantly surprised at the turnaround.

"After the weekend's performance, they look like a good Wales team," the former Leinster centre said.

"This was not a good Welsh team in round one and a little bit better in round two.

"They needed a moment of magic to get them out of a hole, but now they looked like they could put in a performance against England.

"Going over to Paris, they will be absolutely full of confidence, for another shot at a Slam, it is really amazing.

Prior to the tournament OTB AM's very own Eoin Sheahan and Ger Gilroy had some choice words about the quality of this Welsh side.

Those words look like biting back, according to O'Driscoll as Wales focus on another Grand Slam while Ireland look at another trophy-less year.

"I am looking forward to their quotes being extracted as Alun Wyn Jones lifts his fourth Grand Slam trophy," the former Lions captain said of Ger and Eoin.

"'Worst Welsh team ever' or something to that effect in the build-up to the Six Nations."

Envious of Wales

As it stands O'Driscoll can only feel a touch of the green-eyed monster at the Welsh achievements internationally.

"There is something to be envious about," he admitted. "There really is. Their ability to just rate themselves higher than they should do sometimes.

"We have seen great Welsh teams and they have had success but we have seen not great Welsh teams vying for success on regular occasions.

"It is a really great thing to say about the mindset of the group and how they are able to pull it all together.

"When their regional teams are doing so poorly, to still be able to collectively pull it together from a national perspective is inspiring."

The envy stems from Ireland, more often than not, being in the opposite situation to Wales.

"We have it in reverse," O'Driscoll said.

"You think about the amount of European Cups that we have won, domestically nearly every year or every other year an Irish team is winning the PRO 14 trophy.

"But that does not quite translate into the kind of consistent performance we see from Wales over the last 10 or 15 years.

"They have been the three World Cup semi-finals and us in none. We have three Grand Slams to our name and they have three in the last eight or nine years.

"Love them or loathe them you have to acknowledge and appreciate what they have managed to do when their backs are against the wall.

"The other thing is Pivac had lost seven of his opening ten games and they were calling for his head, now he is the new saviour!

"It is funny just how quickly it can all turn around," O'Driscoll concluded.

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