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Dublin: 10°C Friday 30 October 2020
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'Caring' relationship at the core of BOD-Davies midfield partnership

O’Driscoll doesn’t drink tea, but if he did we’re sure Jon Davies would fetch him a cup.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

HIS OLD WELSH mucker, Jamie Roberts, may be among the Lions’ extensive injured list, but Brian O’Driscoll has gotten up close and personal with a man who looks set to be even better this week.

Jonathan Davies has been a revelation at outside centre for Wales in recent years, but tomorrow morning he will pay deference by starting inside the most iconic number 13 the game has known.

While earlier he spoke of Davies’ skill-set on the field, O’Driscoll soon elaborated on the Welshman’s ability to tip-toe around the bedroom.

“I’m rooming with him at the moment.” The Irish centre said with a mischievous grin briefly flickering on his face before returning to a deadpan delivery.

“He’s a good roomie, he saw the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door yesterday: He was very quiet when he came in thinking I was having an afternoon nap… so, he’s thoughtful.”

Caring

It shocked us to learn that O’Driscoll (despite his years of Irish captaincy) isn’t a tea drinker, so that’s one task Davies cannot share with the elder statesman. But the odd couple get plenty of opportunities to form an understanding that will surely leave them in good stead when teaming up opposite Adam Ashley-Cooper and Christian Leali’ifano.

“We bring eachother’s laundry up from downstairs and stuff. We get water for each other… It’s important to be caring.”

Helping out with the chores around the hotel room is one thing, but when it comes to the atmosphere within the dressing room O’Driscoll admits that noise levels are not keeping him quite as comfortable as Jonathan Davies’ bedside manner.

The Welsh contingent is led by captain Sam Warburton, himself a more withdrawn figure, who sets the tone for the group. A more subtle tone, perhaps being no bad thing for the tourists.

“The thing I like about Sam,” O’Driscoll says of his skipper, “he doesn’t speak for the sake of speaking. But when he does, he  has the attention of everybody.”

He added: “In all four countries we do things differently. Obviously in Ireland we’re talkers and maybe there’ll be a need for us to tone it down a bit. That might get us going but not work for everyone else. It’s about trying to strike a balance.

“I had a quiet word with some of the lads and enquired if there was too much chat. It’s good when you’re talking about relevant things but when people hear noise they switch off a little bit.

“So there’s no chat for the sake of chat.”

Sometimes, a caring relationship can be built on meaningful silence.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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