Brian O'Driscoll sets out what expectations of Ireland should be

He also described Ireland's top seeding at the next World Cup as "monumental"

Brian O'Driscoll sets out what expectations of Ireland should be

Ireland's Jonathan Sexton celebrates with Simon Zebo. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll joined Off the Ball's Joe Molloy to review the 2017 Six Nations.

The issue of increasingly high expectations on the Ireland team has been one that has become noticable during the Six Nations.

O'Driscoll said: "We are a nation of five and half or six million people, it's our fourth choice sport and yet we are fourth in the world.

He added: "God knows what the playing numbers are in England, in New Zealand. Australia, I think they're the fourth choice sport themselves but for us to be a top seed for a pool in a World Cup is absolutely monumental and yet it's an inadvertent complement this stick and you've got to look at it that way. It's hard to but it absolutely is because now, no form of mediocrity or below par performance is acceptable." 

Kieran Marmion of Ireland. Image: ©INPHO/Andrew Fosker

Given that Joe Schmidt's men have beaten New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England in the space of nine months and asked where the team can go from here, he said: "We're not far off peaking out, we really aren't. Are we ever going to be the consistent level of New Zealand - no, we're not. I just don't think we are. We can always aspire but I don't think fundamentally we have the ground work done in our players.

"I don't think we've got the depth of players or the player numbers to be able to facilitate that level of competition, to drive the standards that high and unless we decide to give up our other sports - particularly Gaelic football and pool all those resources into rugby - I don't think we can ever get to that point.  

"It's an obsessive point that they have down there. We don't have that, we love it but we're not obsessed by rugby."