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"It almost became like habit" - Brian O'Driscoll opens up on rugby painkiller use debate

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

07:04 5 Dec 2018


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Due to a memorable November Series, provincial and club rugby had taken a bit of a backseat of late.

But it's back with a bang properly this weekend as the Heineken Champions Cup returns, with the third round of action around the pools.

Leinster visit Bath on Saturday and Munster host Castres at Thomond Park the following day. Meanwhile, Ulster kick off the Irish action on Friday night when they head to Scarlets for a testing clash in Pool 3.

As we anticipate those games, we were joined by Brian O'Driscoll and Keith Wood on Wednesday Night Rugby.

They previewed those games but also touched on the issue of legal painkiller use in rugby off the back of recent studies and feedback from players.

"I'd have been part of teams where on the way to a game, a doctor would have walked down the bus on the way to the game and enquired as to who wanted what in advance of it," said O'Driscoll.

"For me, for the last couple of seasons anyway, part of my match prep would have been a difene and a couple of Co-codamol - again, just a painkiller if I was carrying something.

"It almost became like habit where it gave me a fighting chance if I wasn't feeling 100% that it might level it up.

"And that is the reality of it and I wouldn't have been the only one doing it. It was usually the older players, just to try and almost balance the equilibrium almost of feeling okay.

"And then, I'm sure at times, in my subconscious, I would have taken it because it became part and parcel of where maybe I could have done without it. But again, if it's perfectly legal and there's no need for TUEs or any of that, it gives yourself the chance of playing your best game."

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