Saturday 26 May 2018

Brian O'Driscoll: I was happy to help in vindicating Cian

Cian Healy arrives for the hearing into allegations of biting at the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane, Australia last week.
Cian Healy arrives for the hearing into allegations of biting at the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane, Australia last week.

Brian O'Driscoll has revealed how he gave a character reference during Cian Healy's disciplinary hearing after he was accused of one of the "really disgusting offences in the game".

The 34 year old accompanied Healy, who was nursing an ankle injury that would eventually end his Lions tour, to answer his biting charges and was delighted that the Leinster prop was vindicated.

"I attended Cian’s disciplinary hearing on Friday and gave a character reference,2 he wrote in his Lions Tour diary on the Daily Telegraph.

"It took four hours and it gave me an insight into how it all works, hearing both sides of the argument. In the end there was no case to answer and I am so pleased for Cian.

"That sort of charge stays with you a long time. Biting is very different to other offences – it is on a par with gouging and there is no place for either.

"It is beyond the pale, the two really disgusting offences in the game."

The Lions remain unbeaten after Saturday's victory over the Queensland Reds in Brisbane but O'Driscoll has seen two of his international colleagues Healy and Tommy Bowe depart the scene because of injury.

"The British and Irish Lions had been so lucky on the injury front but it is starting to catch up with us. It is tough for everyone – you are just starting to get to know guys and all of a sudden they are gone," he added.

"I know Cian Healy and Tommy Bowe, the injured boys, well. When I got injured in 2005 I made the absolutely fatal error of staying around for two whole weeks.

"That is why in 2009, when I got concussed in the second Test, I could not get out of there quickly enough. I would never dream of advising any of the lads how to react, but for me, being injured and still on tour is not the same. You do not feel part of it."

Irish Independent

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