Brian O’Driscoll Explains How Leinster & Munster Have Become European Contenders Again
Brian O’Driscoll has identified three key factors that have driven Munster and Leinster to incredible heights this season.
The Irish provinces currently occupy the top two positions in the PRO12 and are in the last four of the Champions Cup. When you consider both teams failed to even get out of their European groups last season, it’s an incredible achievement.
O’Driscoll cites three reasons why this rise in the fortunes has occurred. The 2015 Rugby World Cup, the sudden loss of Anthony Foley last October and the arrival of Stuart Lancaster.
Speaking on Yates on Sunday on Newstalk, O’Driscoll said:
“It’s down to not being a world cup year. People probably didn’t pay full respect to the fact that Europe started a couple of weeks after the boys came back from a world cup having been with the national team for the whole summer.
“It’s very difficult to integrate and hit the ground running when you haven’t had any opportunity to have cohesion.
“I think that had a negative impact on the provinces.
“On top of that, I think Munster have been galvanised by tragic loss of Axel earlier on in the year.
“I think they are a team with massive momentum at the moment and momentum can be a really dangerous weapon, if you marry it with a good gameplan, good coaching and some pretty handy players.
“I think they are a team that is hitting its best form.
“I think with Leinster, Stuart Lancaster has had a big effect but again, it’s a confidence thing… enjoying training. I know he brings a huge variety to what they are doing week in, week out.
“When you’re having fun, you are able to express yourself at the weekends and I think you are seeing that with Leinster.”