Brian O'Driscoll piles the...

Rugby

Brian O'Driscoll piles the praise on for Garry Ringrose

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

11:47 7 Feb 2016


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Many people were disappointed with the omission of Garry Ringrose from Joe Schmidt's original squad for the Six Nations, not least Brian O'Driscoll. 

The former Irish captain has been one of the loudest, as well as most respected, voices in rugby circles calling for the involvement of the 21 year-old in this years tournament. 

The Leinster starlet, along with Josh Van Der Flier, has been one of the success stories of Leinster's stuttering season to date, and O'Driscoll joined a significant proportion of the rugby viewing public that hoped he would be a bolter for Ireland's Six Nations squad. 

Fans were left disappointed following Schmidt's squad announcement for the opening rounds of the tournament, but that hasn't stopped the hype around Ringrose, with O'Driscoll endorsing him further today in an interview with the Sunday Times.

"Why wait?"

"Because it is a different game now and Ringrose has a bit to go in his physical development.

"I have seen this guy at close quarters and he reads it quicker than everyone else. He sees it a fraction earlier and that allows him to play with the big boys. He is reading tackle situations earlier and that is the big thing from a defensive point of view.

Credit: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"Attacking wise, I'm not worried about him. I saw him when he came straight out of school and came to Leinster. Got brought to Ireland training camp as opposition to run against us and you could tell he picked lines that I would have been envious of. I was never a hole runner like him."

"There aren't many people who would go out on a limb, especially for a young player who is making his way.

"Maybe it's because he's a 13 that I can see it. But this guy is good. I think he can be great, but he's already good."

O'Driscoll spoke in depth about his playing days, and how he feared multiple head injuries would affect him after retirement, while also offering his opinion of the Johnny Sexton tackling technique debate. 

"After I finished I felt like I was slowing down a bit. I just felt my coordination wasn't quite the same, so I went and got a load of neurological tests and scans just to be sure." 

"Johnny would give out to me for saying this but I wish he would sort out his tackle technique. I think that is an issue and that is a reason why he is finding himself in those head collisions because he is very chest-up.

"He does it because he has such strong upper-body strength but going forward the smart play would be to adopt the Dan Lydiate way of tackling."

 

 

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