Brian O’Driscoll – “ROG Was Onto Me In 06. Did I Never Say This, No?”
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Inter-provincial transfers have become pretty commonplace in the modern game, with players regularly moving around the provinces in search of pastures new.
In recent years we’ve seen the likes of Robbie Henshaw, Joey Carbery, Jordi Murphy, Adam Byrne and John Cooney to name but a few, head up, down, or across the motorway to join a rival province for a variety of reasons.
But there was a time when this just didn’t happen and imagine during the era, the best player in the country decided to swap a blue jersey for a red one…
Yes, Brian O’Driscoll was ‘approached’ to sign for Munster by none other than his Ireland teammate at the time, Ronan O’gara. Speaking on Off The Ball, O’Driscoll has revealed that ROG chanced his arm back in 2006.
“ROG was onto me in 06 before they won Europe going ‘do you want to come down here’ – and I was like… what?” O’Driscoll said.
“Did I never say this, no?
“ROG was onto me, kind of tentatively, he’ll say ‘I was never properly asking’ – but he was definitely hedging his bets a small bit and enquiring as to whether I might have had any interest at all. We [Leinster] were a bit of a basket case back in 05/06. Four coaches in four years, Cheika came in, the squad that he inherited was all over the shop.”
So how did this whole ‘approach’ come about?
“It was a conversation in camp,” O’Driscoll continued
“And he kind of threw it out there. It wasn’t a kind of formal ‘I’ve got a contract here for you ready to sign…’ but it was like – ‘would you think about coming down?’
“He was definitely asked to enquire. And they probably were short a little bit over the course of their time where they lost in semi-finals and finals in the centre, but then they got it together with Rua Tipoki and [Rob] Henderson in 06. But I think it was just prior to that.
“I said ‘I wouldn’t, Ronan, I’m gonna stay put’– and I was thinking about moving at that stage, but I was definitely thinking of France as an option.
“I was never thinking about going down to Munster. It was a hard no.”
Check out the full clip below.