The Rest is Gravy

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!]

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2 thoughts on “The Rest is Gravy

  1. We tend to think of every long-term injury as career-threatening when they happen to players in their 30s, mainly because we wonder if they’re motivated to work their way back when they may not have much time left in the game anyway. I don’t know whether those rumours of retirement came from hints that O’Driscoll himself dropped, but I’m fairly certain that as soon as he was given a recovery time-frame which had him back well before the end of the season that all thoughts of retirement went out the window. In fact, the man himself has spoken openly about aiming for the Lions tour next year (and who would bet against him making it?) so we may have another whole out of him yet. A couple of months away from the coalface may even stand him in good stead.

    Whatever the case may be, I second the point of the article. We should all be anticipating his return and ready to enjoy what he gives us for as long as he does, because even with all the talent coming through the provincial teams in recent years we may never see his like again.

  2. [check out how good Leamy used to be!]

    True, but if you listen to Mark Robson, he was about to “AGAIN” because that game was one of Kearney’s better games in an Ireland jersey. His fielding was superb and without the head-gear, Leamy kinda looks like Kearney, so I think the great Ulsterman had briefly got them mixed up. Good play from Leamy all the same.

    Look at that Irish bench in the summer of 2008, celebrating the try. Girv, Micko, Stringer, Jennings, Hayes and Rory Best. 3 retied (or, just about to), one still an important Leinster squad player, one exiled to the UK, and the last is the current Irish captain.

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