O'Driscoll staying in the present

Tue, 28 Jan 2014 18:30
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Ireland great Brian O'Driscoll says he is fully focused on the weekend’s Six Nations clash against Scotland in Dublin and has put aside thoughts of the “afterlife.”

Ireland great Brian O'Driscoll says he is fully focused on the weekend’s Six Nations clash against Scotland in Dublin and has put aside thoughts of the “afterlife.”

The 35-year-old centre enters his final Six Nations campaign and is committed to helping Ireland wrest the silverware from Wales’ grasps.

That objective O'Driscoll says allows for no time to ponder about life after rugby.

"Before Christmas I started thinking too much about the afterlife. There's no rush,” O'Driscoll told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I'll just enjoy the Six Nations and hopefully the knock-out parts of the European Cup.

"Hopefully I can try to win some silverware, and once the season's done and dusted and the boots are finally hung up, there will be plenty of time to think about what the next plan is.

"I don't want to look back in a year's time and regret not having given this time everything. That's why I'm focusing solely on rugby and all other thoughts are on the back-burner."

Another impending sideshow is next weekend’s clash against the defending champions, which will be the first time O'Driscoll opposes Wales and British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland, who infamously dropped the veteran for the Lions’ decisive third Test against the Wallabies last year.

O'Driscoll insists he doesn’t hold a grudge against the New Zealand-born coach and will only shift his focus to the Welsh after Sunday’s Test.

"What happened, happened, no one can change it,” said O'Driscoll. “I don't have any ill-will towards Warren.

"When it was raw afterwards your emotions are a bit different. Time does heal all wounds and I don't have any animosity towards him.

"What I will look towards is just trying to be involved in a team that can potentially beat his team, but that's next week.

"The coaching thing at the moment doesn't really float my boat.”

O'Driscoll praised his former Leinster mentor Joe Schmidt for what he’s brought to the national side ahead of the New Zealander’s maiden Six Nations.

"I think Joe's brought a lot of his traits that we've seen over the years into this job. That's what got him promoted to this job.

"But like all good coaches he's always trying to evolve, he's a big thinker of the game.

"I don't know anyone who would do more analysis than Joe Schmidt. He has an insatiable appetite for the game, you can see it in everything he does,” said O'Driscoll.

"We have strict timelines to how long we spend on the park. You've got that time to get it right, so get it right.

"That mentality switches into the players very quickly.”

O'Driscoll added he expects teammate Leo Cullen will make a successful transition when he takes up the position of forwards coach at Leinster next season.

"I think it's important we get some Irish coaches, we have some great thinkers in the game, and Leo Cullen's definitely one of them,” he said.

"Physically he might not be in the condition he was a few years ago, but because he's so smart and such a clever player, he identifies short cuts, and I think he'll have an awful lot to offer from a coaching perspective."

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