“I Do Think There Is An Issue” – Former Ireland Boss Concerned With Irish Players


Former Ireland head coach Eddie O’Sullivan reckons “there is an issue” in terms of Irish players when it comes to binge drinking.

A number of incidents have (and haven’t) been made public in recent memory involving players that have led to serious repercussions as a direct result of binge drinking.

Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding’s Belfast Rape Trial highlighted the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, while more recently Sean O’Brien was investigated following a drunken incident after Leinster’s PRO14 win.

But while O’Sullivan thinks it is a problem in professional problem – he believes it’s more of a cultural problem than specifically a rugby problem.

“There is (binge drinking) to an extent,” he told RTE’s Today With Sean O’Rourke

“There have been other instances recently that have been highlighted around and certainly alcohol was involved. I think it is more a cultural problem across the country.”

“The difference between say rugby players and maybe the average person their age is their profile, they get seen if they do anything wrong and there is nothing wrong with that. That is part of what they carry with them in their position, but I do think there is an issue.”

“One of the big changes is I suppose the fact these drinking situations are often binges because a lot of these players do not drink on a regular basis because it doesn’t work for their career if you are a professional athlete.”

“When the opportunity arises it often is way more excessive than it needs to be and that often happens. You see this in other sports at the end of the season when everyone is heading into their holidays – that is a problem around it and there isn’t sensible drinking when it happens.”

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