No plans to lure Brian O’Driscoll to play in Australia, says Michael Cheika
FORMER Leinster boss Michael Cheika has ruled out an immediate move for Brian O’Driscoll after the centre talked up his hopes of moving to play Down Under.
Cheika, who is coach at Sydney New South Wales Waratahs, says he has had no contact with the Irish skipper, despite a number of media reports linking him to the Sydney-based side.
O'Driscoll, who after last year's World Cup made tentative inquiries about playing a season of Super Rugby, said he would be excited by the challenge of playing against that calibre of player week-in, week-out.
"The three best teams in the world make up the Super 15, and you look at the individuals and you look at the calibre of sides and the quality of Super Rugby and the intensity of it, obviously it is a hugely high standard," he said.
O'Driscoll tempered his enthusiasm with a dose of reality, conceding that his "time might have passed on that front" but added that he was "definitely a never say never sort of person".
The 33-year-old is contracted to Leinster up to June 2013 and is then expected to play a central role in the British Lions tour of Australia in June and July.
"Cheiks has my number, so if he wants to give me a call, he knows how to get me," O'Driscoll said.
But Cheika said this morning he would not want to disrupt Leinster's season and had not spoken to the player since leaving the Irish club at the end of the 2009-2010 season for French Top 14 side Stade Francais.
"Obviously I know Brian very well. It is no secret that he is one of a number of top players over there who would love to come down and play in the Super 15," Cheika said.
"I saw him before I left - I went to say goodbye. But we haven't spoken since. I wouldn't want to do that to him or the club. He is in the middle of a season, the Heineken Cup is still on and they are focusing on that.
"It is still my club and it is very close to me and I would not want to disrupt their season. That is Brian saying how he feels about things and what he might like to do."
Cheika refused to rule out a later move for the centre, however.
"It would be a big decision for him to leave Ireland but the thought is there with all the top players they would all love to come down and have a try - there is no doubt about that," he said.
"We don't have a marquee player... and whether we would go down that road is something we would have to discuss."