Brian O’Driscoll & Jamie Heaslip On What They Miss Most About Playing Rugby

Retired life.

Brian O’Driscoll and Jamie Heaslip have pretty much done all their is to be done in rugby as a professional player. The former Ireland and Leinster duo have won European Cups, Six Nations, toured with the Lions and played in some of the biggest games their is.

But what do they miss most about playing? O’Driscoll has been out of the game for quite a while now at this stage, having retired back in 2014. For him it’s that feeling of ‘adding massive value’ to something and that sense of ‘achievement with teammates’ that he’s been unable to replicate since hanging up his boots.

“The butterflies… and also that feeling of really adding massive value to something. Knowing that you’ve had to roll your sleeves up and dig in deep.” O’Driscoll said on BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight

“And that sense of achievement with teammates. They’re the only ones that really know what went into achieving success or winning trophies. I think that’s pretty hard to find in the outside world.”

Jamie Heaslip meanwhile is only out of the professional landscape a few months, having retired towards the end of last season. For him he reckons he will always miss the big games, but interestingly – he says he misses the ‘darkness’ of pre-season.

“I think you’ll miss the big games regardless. I think that won’t change in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years…” Heaslip said on BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight

“Nothing will replace wearing either the blue for Leinster, the green for Ireland or a Lions jersey and running out onto a full field representing what that jersey means.”

“And to be honest I used to love pre-season. Because that’s when you got to know people because there’s some dark, dark, dark (sessions).”

“Especially week one and two, going back a little bit heavy. That’s where you put the work in and get the result at the end of the season.”