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OTB Kids Takeover | Brian O'Driscoll on being critical in commentary

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

15:41 27 Mar 2020

The first episode of the OTB Kids Takeover this week saw Irish rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll answering questions from children across the country.

John Murphy in Dublin asked Brian a very interesting question - Do you find it hard criticising players while commentating, because you were criticised yourself playing rugby?

O'Driscoll conceded it can be tough to find the right wording.

"I do find it hard cricising players. When I was a player, I knew I had a poor game, and I knew when the criticism was going to come.

"And all I could ever ask was that pundits didn't make it personal, that they just judged me on my rugby performance. I didn't help myself at times, when having the blonde hair and little goatees!

"This though is full beard growth, there's no architecture in what I do, but I didn't help myself with giving people reasons to have a go at me!

"But when I go and am critical of someone, its only about their performance. I try and spin it a particular way as well, you know, where someone throws a poor pass - in the early days maybe I would have said 'that's a poor quality pass for Jonathan Sexton', whereas nowadays I might say 'that's a very uncharacteristic pass from Jonathan Sexton.'

"So there's lots of ways of trying to be able to soften it, and at times, when you're giving lots of soundbites you say things that in the cold light of day you wished you hadn't.

"You do make those errors and I will continue making those errors but it's about trying to limit them as much as possible.

"A big thing is about being willing to say the things you say on TV to someone's face... I think I stand by that 99 per cent of the time.

"There is the occasional time I suppose I disappoint myself by saying something that maybe I don't truly believe or that I feel is out of line. You've got to hold your hand up when that happens."

Keep an eye on our social channels for future OTB Kids Takeover's - you'll be able to send in questions via WhatsApp!

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


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BOD Brian O'Driscoll Criticism Ireland OTB Kids Takeover Rugby

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