With all focus on this weekend’s Six Nations, it was no surprise that Leinster’s mid-week press conference didn’t grab much attention.
Brad Thorn’s arrival – did we mention that? – grabbed most of the domestic headlines but the most significant piece of news was revealed by Joe Schmidt who discussed Brian O’Driscoll’s return to action.
“If that works out he might go into contact in preparation for Ospreys or we might wait one more week and let him go into the Munster game after some contact.”
Schmidt is understated but this reads to me like “Brian has demanded to play in the Munster game and would like to play against the Ospreys from the start but I can’t announce one position before the rest of the team, particularly if the player in question is coming back from a career threatening injury”. Or not.
Whatever you want to read between the lines, it seems that Ireland’s greatest ever player still has more to give. The severity of O’Driscoll’s injury should not be underestimated and rumours circulated after the World Cup that retirement was a very likely outcome. Long time mucker Shane Horgan has yet to make a reappearance, or have it signalled in the press that one is likely and has moved smoothly into the media. O’Driscoll is now 33 so recovery should not be taken for granted but the man’s Mental is second to none.
Should O’Driscoll make a reappearance, every game can be viewed as a bonus. His career looked over a few years ago due to persistent hamstring trouble, check him out struggling to keep up with Tommy Bowe, but a change in exercise regime revitalised the man and he had his best ever year in 2009.
Rugby in Ireland has come a long way during O’Driscoll’s career. The iconic figure of Keith Wood galvanised supporters of Munster and Ireland and dragged his team mates with him but it was O’Driscoll that the “golden generation” coalesced around. When he does make a reappearance the man deserves an ovation.
Then sit back and enjoy because Drico still has It.
[check out how good Leamy used to be!]