BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 0°C Thursday 6 May 2021
Advertisement

O'Driscoll hopes to see Leinster culture boosted by Henry's short stay

O’Driscoll hopes to see Henry usher in tools which ensure “mediocrity won’t be acceptable.”

Brian O'Driscoll was speaking at the launch of eir Sport, formerly Setanta Sports and the eir Sport Pack. The eir Sport pack includes eir Sport 1 and eir Sport 2; BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and BT Sport ESPN.
Brian O'Driscoll was speaking at the launch of eir Sport, formerly Setanta Sports and the eir Sport Pack. The eir Sport pack includes eir Sport 1 and eir Sport 2; BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and BT Sport ESPN.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

BRIAN O’DRISCOLL SAYS he is ‘intrigued’ but hopeful that Leinster’s move to recruit Graham Henry on a consultancy basis this month can leave a lasting impact on the province.

The 2011 World Cup-winning coach will arrive in Dublin before the end of July to assist Leo Cullen and his inexperienced coach ticket during pre-season.

“It’s very interesting. I’m intrigued as to what value Graham Henry will add. I’m sure it will be substantial,” O’Driscoll said after the announcement that Setanta Sports was to be rebranded as Eir Sport and would hold broadcast rights for the 2019 Rugby World Cup,

“It’s a long time since I worked with Graham Henry in 2001, I’d say he’s a vastly different coach than then. He’s won the ultimate competition in the world in a very pressurised situation.

I’m sure Leo will learn an awful lot from a coaching aspect in terms of what skills he’s brought to the All Black and what he’s done for Argentina as well. Hopefully we can get some of his knowledge and understanding of how he sees the game moving forward and how he sees Leinster as a team evolving.

“I’d imagine he’s a guy who’ll have done a lot of research and watched a lot of games, so he’d know them well.”

Perhaps even more important than any elements of playing style, the former centre is keen to see signs of an improved culture within the Leinster squad — an issued raised by Jonathan Sexton towards the tail end of last season.

“It’s about building the culture a little bit more. He clearly built on the All Black culture from a dark place in ’07 to win the World Cup four years later. It should just enhance Leinster’s culture which, from the sounds of things, has just slipped a small bit and bring in things where mediocrity won’t be acceptable. That’ll be a good starting point.”

He added: “I’ve never worked under a consultant before. I’ve never been in that environment.

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

Brian O'Driscoll Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“He’s obviously done some work in the past with Argentina and you can see they’ve benefitted from it. You’d be hopeful he can do the same at Leinster.

“A month is not a long time, but besides the stuff he does with the team, I’m sure Leo will be utilising every hour he can get, talking to him and drawing as much knowledge as he can from him.”

Another important point is that Leinster arguably don’t have much ground to cover in terms of improvement. Last season’s Champions Cup campaign was an undeniable failure as they were unable to get out of the group. Yet the draw that pitted Wasps, Bath and Toulon against them was anything but kind. This season, Castres, Montpellier and Northampton present a much more achievable goal to push past. And in the league, it was only the final hurdle that tripped them up.

“They did finish top of the Pro12 and get to the final – though they deservedly didn’t win.

“You’d have to think they’re not a million miles away. You live in hope Graham Henry’s going to add to the setup and allow Leo prosper all the more.”

The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add!

Wallabies and Brumbies lose Joe Tomane to Montpellier

2019 Rugby World Cup to be broadcast in Ireland by Eir Sport with 13 games free-to-air

About the author:

Sean Farrell

Read next:

COMMENTS (12)