Ulster Respond To Brian O’Driscoll Calling Them A ‘Basket Case’

“He can say what he wants.”

Ulster head coach Jono Gibbes and flanker Sean Reidy were asked about Brian O’Driscoll’s comments this week, where he labelled Ulster as a ‘basket case’ when discussing a potential move up north for Ross Byrne or Joey Carbery.

“Things are clearly not going right at Ulster. They don’t have a coach and it’s a little bit of a basket case at the moment. O’Driscoll said this week.

Gibbes coached O’Driscoll for six years at Leinster, so when the question was put to him, understandably he was a bit hesitant.

“I’ve only seen the headlines, to be honest, so I haven’t analysed it a lot,” Gibbes said yesterday

“You know a guy like that is entitled to his opinion. I don’t know in what context it was or how it all sort of came about.

“You know people are taking the opinion from the outside of Ulster Rugby and, yeah, unfortunately, it’s a negative one if I’m correct in what you say, but we can’t control that, can we?

“I’m not sure what you want me to talk about. What is it that you’d like to engage about Drico with me?

“We do our best to put performances together out there and, you know, win lose or draw, hopefully, we’ve reflected a massive team effort and, you know, a massive engagement. That’s what we try to be about.

“And, like a guy like that’s played a lot of Tests, if he wants to label us a ‘basket case’, I don’t know what you want me to say about that.”

Sean Reidy however, was a little bit more vocal, stating “some of the rubbish” in the media theses days is no good to anyone, and that O’Driscoll can “say what he wants”

 ”Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If that’s the way he sees it, that’s the way he sees it. Obviously, as a group we don’t see it that way.

“We’re just focused on our own game and what we can do this weekend. There’s no point… some of the rubbish that goes on in the media nowadays does no one any good.

“I’ve got nothing against Brian O’Driscoll. He can say what he wants.”

Gibbes also confirmed that Ulster will continue to look at options at ten to replace Paddy Jackson, but that the Leinster situation with Byrne and Carbery is ‘nothing to do with us.’

“I don’t know what it’s got to do with us,” Gibbes added

“We work in a system where if we need to add or supplement what we’ve got, we need to go to the IRFU for that.

“Their preference is always Irish-qualified players, it’s our job to help build Irish internationals. When they’re not available you might look at a foreign player and that’s in consultation with them and it’s a partnership. That’s what we do.

“It’s a position we will look to add to and supplement”

“We’ve got some young guys in there, Angus (Curtis) has covered ten, Mike Lowry is behind and Johnny (McPhillips) has been front and centre. On balance, it’s a position we would look to add to.”

“We work with the union on how that’s facilitated. Those guys aren’t in our conversations, they’re Leo (Cullen)’s responsibility, he’s responsible for Leinster and Joe (Schmidt) is responsible for Ireland and making the national team as competitive as possible.

“We’re not really part of that situation.”


Follow Me