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Pundits must be watching different games to me - BOD

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll feels that he has a greater knowledge of rugby than many of the pundits who he feels are "watching different games at times".

O'Driscoll (31) made the comments ahead of Ireland's much anticipated clash with the English and in the aftermath of criticism levelled at his team for the performance against the French.

He said that he has a greater understanding of the game than most pundits because he has played at the highest level of the game, unlike many of them.

"All I can speak of personally is what's written about us doesn't concern me greatly because I genuinely feel, because I've been involved in the game for 10-odd years, that I have as good, if not a better, knowledge than the vast majority of people writing out there," he said.

"I know what it's like at the coalface. I know how difficult it is. And I don't know if you can fully get a balanced opinion unless you've been there.

"Unless you know what test match rugby is like."

The Ireland centre went on to bemoan the opinions of former internationals, many of whom are former team-mates that have joined the ranks of the media pundits.

BOD could not believe that the opinions of people who know all about the cut and thrust of international rugby could be so different from his own.

"I've seen some past internationals writing some things that I would be far from [being] in like-mindedness with, as regards what has happened in games," he said.

Varying

"It feels as though at times they are watching different games than I am."

O'Driscoll said he is not affected by anything that is written or said in the media and he feels that the rest of the Irish set-up feels the same way.

"With all the varying points of view across the board, I don't think the lads get caught up in them," he said.

"When you look at all the conflicting reviews, essentially all that is, is a load of single people's individual points of view. That's one person.

"But from my end that's one person writing something. I think I am a pretty good judge of when things are going well and when things are going badly."

There was controversy last week when journalist Kevin Myers criticised the Irish team and, in particular, Ronan O'Gara, despite the fact that he is not a rugby pundit.

hnews@herald.ie


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