Former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll said Jason Robinson was a player you ‘just could not work out’ and ‘honed the ability to be unpredictable.’
Speaking on Off The Ball, O’Driscoll spoke about the four British and Irish Lions Tours he was a part of and who should make the plane on the South African tour in 2021.
The former Irish centre said that not many players would make a huge impression at training to be involved in the starting squad. However, former England captain Jason Robinson was an exception.
“To get to see in close quarters what he was capable of," recalled O'Driscoll. "You see so much on a Saturday, but when you’re training and playing and watching players of that calibre leading up to a Saturday. You see some exceptional stuff that cameras don’t always catch.
“Jason, I knew so little of him in 2001 other than his rugby league talent. But to have a full appreciation of what his footwork was like, you need to defend against it, and it was horrible at times in training.”
'I smashed him'
While O’Driscoll said it did not happen often, he does recall how on one occasion he did get the better of Robinson at training.
“We once did a one on one tackling drill and I got Jason Robinson in a five-metre channel. He did his up-in-the-air and his dummy. He went one side and I smashed him.
“There was only a 50% chance of me catching him. I decided to go one way and he unluckily just went in my way.”
O’Driscoll was full of praise for his former Lions teammate who trained and played alongside the Irish centre during the 2001 and 2005 tours of Australia and New Zealand.
Robinson, who played 51 times for his country, scored 28 tries and won a World Cup in the process, was credited by O’Driscoll as being one of the most unpredictable players he ever played against.
“I would’ve analysed him a lot as I played against him, he was equally comfortable on either foot, it made no difference to him. There was no preference on ball carry, you just could not work him out. He honed the ability to be unpredictable as well.
“He might’ve been a small guy, but he packed a serious punch too.”
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