Brian O’Driscoll Doesn’t Hold Back In His Assessment Of Dylan Hartley
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Brian O’Driscoll has had his say on Dylan Hartley’s swinging arm on Sean O’Brien and he hasn’t held back.
The former Ireland and Leinster centre was on commentary for BT for the Champions Cup match and on the night called for a red card straight away. Following the game he noted that Hartley’s actions were mindless and questioned his Lions captaincy chances/
In the wake of the incident many people have chimed in with their opinions, from pundits to fans to coaches and people in positions of power within rugby. Some have suggested that O’Brien ducked into Hartley’s swinging arm but O’Driscoll is not having it.
Speaking in an interview with SportsJoe, O’Driscoll says there is a duty of care from the tackler.
“O’Brien didn’t duck into it, he was tackled. Tom Wood was tackling him by the ankles and he was falling. There is a duty of care from the tackler coming in to effect a tackle – and that wasn’t a tackle; there was not attempt to grab and it was incredibly loose and reckless.
“If he hits O’Brien in his body it would still have been a yellow card because it is a straight arm. He hits him in the head so it is a straight red. It’s an easy decision. It becomes more of a red card the more I see it.”
Hartley has spent 54 weeks of his career suspended and it has cost him places at two Rugby World Cups and a Lions tour. When asked what do you do as a coach or a teammate with a player like Hartley, O’Driscoll said
“This is going to be Dylan’s seventh suspension. Not many players have had that many suspensions. A lot of guys play close to the line so it’s hard to say. I was asked on BT [on Sunday] what do you say or do with a player like that and I really didn’t have an answer.
“When someone has been banned for a seventh time, I don’t know what you’re supposed to do to prevent him being banned for an eighth time.”
Hartley is set find out the full extent of his soon to be latest ban, following a hearing later today.