“He Was Nicknamed ‘Snake’” – Brian O’Driscoll On The Toughest Centre He Faced During His Career
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As far as centres go, they don’t come much better than former Lions, Leinster and Ireland thirteen Brian O’Driscoll.
The 41-year-old represented was capped for Ireland 133 times and toured with the British and Irish Lions a record four times from 2001-2013 and is widely regarded as the best outside centre to have ever played the game.
But even he had some tough days at the office over the years, and in terms of opposition, they didn’t come much harder than former All Black Conrad Smith.
We asked his former midfield partner Gordon D’Arcy last week about his toughest centre opponents, and he came back with Frances Yannick Jauzion and New Zealand’s Ma’a Nonu.
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Episode 9 has arrived featuring Gordon D'Arcy, Jamie Heaslip and Caelan Doris. 🎧🎙 –Jason & Jamie Heaslip look back on the Irish provinces in the PRO14 over the weekend and look forward to the European finals. 🏆 –Gordon D'Arcy on who should start in midfield for Ireland and the two best centres he's ever faced. 🤔 – Caelan Doris on the number eight he has looked to model his game on and what rugby must do to become a truly global sport. 😮 – Dissecting Andy Farrell's 35-man Ireland squad for the Six Nations. 🧐 – Joe Schmidt's new World Rugby role and the magic of the Bledisloe Cup. 😍 – Plus much more. Available now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and more.
And while O’Driscoll agreed both of them provided him with some stern opposition “snake hips” Smith was the one player that he found the most difficult to play against.
“I thought Conrad Smith was always one of the really difficult ones,” O’Driscoll said on Episode 10 of the Up and Under Podcast.
“He was nicknamed ‘snake’ I think because of his hips and it doesn’t look like he’s going that fast but jeez he can travel.
“It was 2012 I remember thinking he wasn’t that quick and then I saw him pulling away from me and I was like ‘awww, ok’ – is that more of a reflection on me or on him, I’m not entirely sure!
“But he was a good footballer, a really clever player. He got what might be perceived as a lot of easy scores but he had to run the line to get there. A really, really clever operator.
“And then Jauzuion yeah, and Ma’a Nonu was another great player but for me, if I was to pick two it would be Jauzion and Conrad I think.”
The full interview with O’Driscoll is available now on Episode 10 of the Up and Under Podcast.
Guinness teamed up with Sene Naoupu and Brian O’Driscoll to announce a partnership with Canterbury, Intersport Elverys, and the IRFU in support of the sale of the newly-released Irish Women’s Rugby team jerseys across its retail sites; the Guinness Webstore and Guinness Open Gate Brewery from 21 October while stocks last.
Ireland will resume their Six Nations campaign when they welcome Italy to Energia Park on Saturday, 24th October at 18:30 and will conclude their campaign away to France in Le Stadium (Nord Lille Metropole) on Sunday, 1st November at 13:30. While there is disappointment among fans, for whom there was a greater demand than ever for tickets, people can still show their support for the Ireland Women’s Rugby team by watching their remaining two games on RTÉ.