Sport Rugby

Wednesday 25 April 2018

'One bunch are talking about going for fake tans and the other boys are chatting about getting the snip'

Donncha O'Callaghan was a guest on the Tommy Tiernan Show last night
Donncha O'Callaghan was a guest on the Tommy Tiernan Show last night

Donncha O'Callaghan has highlighted the difference between young rugby players nowadays and those he grew up playing alongside.

The 38-year-old Worcester Warriors second row appeared as a guest on last night's Tommy Tiernan Show and was his usual bubbly self.

Much of the rugby debate this week has centred on Gerbrandt Grobler - who was banned for two years for the use of an anabolic steroid in 2014 - following his debut for Munster 'A' last week.

O'Callaghan says that back when he started, there was no emphasis on weights training or physical size.

"When we were coming out of school, we were told, 'don't do weights, they'll slow you down!' Whereas these fellas are coming out now having followed brilliant training programmes while they were in school. So they're arriving ready to go," said O'Callaghan.

"You look at the Irish team in the autumn, loads of young brilliant players who we would have thought would have had to wait their time. But they're physically in incredible shape.

"Even the Fijian team that Ireland played in the autumn, they're the heaviest backline ever to play rugby. Their backline is the same size as me. They're huge men.

Back in the '70s and '80s, it was a skill game. The onus was on getting around your opposition, ducking and diving. It wouldn't have been good for a player like me, I'm one gear and go straight at people."

O'Callaghan recently announced that he will retire this summer, admitting he is "ancient in rugby circles", something that is highlighted by two WhatsApp groups he is part of.

"This is a question (the retirement question) that causes trouble because my wife says, 'May! You're done in May!' So, I'm done in May... I'm ancient in rugby circles.

"I've been answering that question since I was 30. People have said to me, 'you're surely gone this May?' So I've dodged the bullet a few times.

"I'm in two Whatsapp groups. One for the Munster lads who are all hitting 40ths and 50ths, and last night I was invited to a 21st on the Worcester Warriors one. One bunch are talking about going for fake tans and the other boys are chatting about getting the snip."

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