Brian O'Driscoll on rugby's growing physicality and the Champions Cup

There's a busy weekend on the way...

BY Joseph Conroy 20:34 Friday 20 October 2017, 20:34 20 Oct 2017

Inpho

On Wednesday Night Rugby, Donncha O'Callaghan raised concerns over the level of physicality in modern rugby:

"This week, we put out 23 guys against Brive and 17 of them had to report to injury clinic on Sunday and weren't fit to train on Monday morning. Out of our 23 guys, 17 of them needed some form of treatment or were nursing an injury after a game," he told Off The Ball.

When those comments and some statistics showing sharp increases in the number of impacts and breakdowns per game were put to Brian O'Driscoll, he said that rule changes have had a massive impact on the sport:

"Because of these new laws, all of those stats have changed, all of them have increased, [there's more] ball in play, because you can't compete at the ruck like you used to because of the tweaking of the rules not enabling the tackler to be the first man to steal the ball."

The former Ireland captain also noted that concussions and other injuries can happen on the training ground during contact sessions and added that they are more likely to go undetected by medical staff than in-game impacts.

Turning to on-field action, he praised Leinster's performance last weekend, "I would imagine it must have been pretty quiet," he said, given the number of seasoned starters who missed the game through injury.

"The academy system is in full flourish" Brian continued, noting that it's gotten more and more difficult to get into the provinces underage system and that there is now an "assembly line" of new talent coming through.

He also previewed the rest of the weekend's European action:

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