Brian O’Driscoll On The 3 Irish Players That Would Be Picked If They Played Abroad
Brian O’Driscoll believes only three Irish players in the current team would be guaranteed to still be picked if they decided to play their rugby abroad.
The former Ireland captain believes the gulf of class between Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray and Tadhg Furlong and their closest replacement, means they would have to be picked no matter where they played their rugby.
Speaking to ESPN in an exclusive interview, O’Driscoll said:
“Johnny Sexton or Conor Murray or a Tadhg Furlong, I think those three names, if any of those were seen overseas the gulf between them and the next player is so vast that I think they’d have to pick them.”
In terms of Peter O’Mahony, while O’Driscoll believes he’s a shoo-in in the current team, he’s not irreplaceable.
“Is Peter O’Mahony completely irreplaceable? Maybe not, albeit he’s a shoo-in to the team right now, the strength of that back row is in a good spot. It will be a difficult decision for Peter O’Mahony.”
O’Driscoll says O’Mahony has a huge decision to make. While the 2019 Rugby World Cup is something O’Mahony will want to play in, at the end of the day he has to think of his family in such a short career.
“He’s a young family too and he’s 28 years of age so he’s got to think about multiple things.”
“Yes, obviously [there’s] the carrot of the World Cup in 2019 but it’s a short career and people have to maximise their earnings while they can.”
“In many players’ cases they will not be able to earn to that capacity again when they finish up playing. So, you’ve got to make hay while sun shines.”
“It’s about making sure you make the right decision from your rugby perspective, but also from your family and your security perspective. There are some difficult decisions ahead for some of those key players.”