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O'Driscoll: Time to nip talk of Waratahs move in the bud

“It’s certainly not on my to do list at the moment,” said Ireland’s all-time leading try scorer.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

LEINSTER AND IRELAND centre Brian O’Driscoll has today insisted he has no plans to switch hemispheres when his contract with the IRFU expires.

O’Driscoll, 33, had appeared open to the idea of a move to reunite with former Leinster coach Michael Cheika after he took up the reins with Super XV franchise, the New South Wales Waratahs.

In an interview with Sydney’s Daily Telegraph early this month, O’Driscoll said he was excited about playing against top quality opposition on a regular basis, adding: ”That is an exciting prospect. But whether all the pieces fit, I don’t know. At this moment in time, probably not.”

Today, speaking ahead of Leinster’s crucial Heineken Cup meeting with the Llanelli Scarlets, O’Driscoll almost rolled his eyes when asked to clarify the matter:

“It was an interview I did three and a half weeks ago when Michael Cheika was given the New South Wales job and aspects of it have been regurgitated,” said the Ireland captain.

“‘I’ve always said; never say never. But it’s certainly not on my to do list at the moment.

“I don’t know if I’m playing beyond June. I’m contracted until then, so I’m enjoying things at the moment and I’ve no plans or desires at the moment to be heading over there and I haven’t spoken to anyone about it.”

In the “regurgitated” interview, O’Driscoll had said Cheika ‘knows how to get in contact with me’, but today he was unequivocal in saying no approach had been made: ”He (Cheika) hasn’t been in touch, so I think it’s best to nip that in the bud.”

Sitting alongside O’Driscoll throughout was head coach Joe Schmidt, and he could only laugh as his star centre’s discomfort grew when asked jokingly if the interview had been a ‘come-and-get-me plea’:

“It’s certainly not.” O’Driscoll replied with a wry smile, “In years gone by there was a need to do that, but at 33 years of age, there’s no point anymore. It’s not a case of Dutch auctions, far from it.”

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Sean Farrell

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