Former Ireland and Leinster rugby player Brian O'Driscoll joined Joe Molloy on Off The Ball this evening, exploring the year that was for Irish rugby and what that means heading into the World Cup next year.
Missing out on a Six Nations triumph to France, Ireland under Andy Farrell have since drastically “changed the landscape” says Brian O'Driscoll, who refers to the series win over New Zealand as a “huge boost externally” to the team’s recognition
“I think before this there were people in certain factions of the globe where some would have said, ‘Oh, yeah, no Ireland, great team, you know, respect them’, but really respect that the core? I'm not sure” he reflected.
“Now, I genuinely think Ireland have the attention of everyone.”
Posed the question as to whether that series victory on the opposite side of the globe came at a time where The All Blacks were at “a lower ebb” than they are notorious for, the legendary Irish number 13 disputed that it altered the achievement in any way.
“No, I don't. I know that this is perhaps not the world's greatest New Zealand team, and this is separate to the incredible feat of going there and winning, because lots of teams have gone there and against maybe not the best New Zealand teams and come off lucky to come away second best in a two horse race” he continued.
“They just play a different brand down there than they do at World Cups or anywhere else. It's so hard and physical, it feels like a different game at times down there and so anyone that has experienced that has a full appreciation for what that our Ireland team did.
“And I really feel as though now having beaten New Zealand a few times and then go it down there and not having that fear factor, irrespective of where you're playing them is all important. That's why, you know, I think we're getting a little bit giddy about the prospect of next year if it is the All Blacks in a in a quarterfinal, they'll be worried about us too.”
Team of Us. Everyone In.
Vodafone. The main sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team