BRIAN O’DRISCOLL WILLED his injured calf muscle to give him 71 more minutes at the RDS last night but, ultimately, he played on for another one before an uneasy reality dawned. His playing career was over and he watched his teammates secure the RaboDirect Pro12 title from the sidelines.
O’Driscoll steered clear of the quote-hungry press room following Leinster’s 34-12 win over Glasgow Warriors; opting to celebrate with his wife, Amy, and his teammates. Many of the Leinster squad fly out to Argentina with Ireland later today so it was hard to begrudge him one last night out with his comrades.
RTE managed to collar O’Driscoll on the pitch, amid the post-match fanfare, and found the retired centre in philosophical form. He said, “I always said you can’t plan anything in this game; what happens, happens and you’ve got to roll with the punches. It wasn’t a good day for me in the end, only getting eight minutes, but this [the celebrations] is what it is all about.” He added:
Yeah, I will [miss this]. It’s hanging out with all of your buddies, having a laugh. It’s coming in every day and making sure you are well equipped with your abuse because you know there is some coming at you. You’ll miss that and miss the support that we had. I think it’s been a two-way relationship. We’ve generated them but they’ve been great for us.”
O’Driscoll was asked about his future plans and joked, “I’m sure I’ll be about the place. I’ll take anything. I’m about to be unemployed in a month so I’ll take whatever is going.”
With teammate Sean Cronin revealing his teammate was dropping training ground hints about returning to take up a coaching role, O’Driscoll’s final comment was intriguing. “I’ll take a bit of time and one or two things might happen,” he said.