Saturday 16 December 2017

Brian O'Driscoll admits he feared for his well being after retiring from rugby

Brian O'Driscoll is attended to by team doctor
Brian O'Driscoll is attended to by team doctor

Former Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll has revealed that, in the immediate aftermath of his retirement from rugby, he had concerns over his physiological well-being.

O’Driscoll, who following a glittering career for Ireland, Leinster and Lions, stepped away from the game in 2014, admitted in an interview with the Sunday Times that he had such uncertainty regarding his faculties that he sought medical advice.

“After I finished I felt as though I was slowing down a little bit. I just felt that my co-ordination wasn’t quite the same, so I went and got a load of neurological tests and scans just to be sure," BOD told the Sunday Times.

Such was his bravery, with and without the ball, O’Driscoll shipped his fair share of hits over the course of a decade and a half as a professional and, like former teammate Johnny Sexton is now, became the source of much concern for many observers.

Also like Sexton, he knows exactly what it is to be country’s key component to success on the rugby pitch, though he does hope that former Racing Metro player would alter the manner in which he tackles.

Johnny Sexton after suffering a head injury with Ireland

“It gets highlighted because he is the poster boy of Irish rugby,” he said regarding Sexton, who starts at out-half for Ireland today in their Six Nations opener with Wales.

“He is Ireland’s most important player, so when an individual has had concussion issues and had an extended period out, interest is going to be heightened.

“Johnny would give out to me for saying this, but I wish he would sort out his tackle technique. I think that is an issue, and that is the reason why he finds himself in those head-collision situations, because he is very chest up.”

The 2005 Lions captain is currently a pundit for BT Sport and Newstalk with no health issues to speak of, and went to say in the interview that his initial worries were likely psychosomatic.

 “Excuse the pun, but I think it was in my head. When you are doing something for 15 years and when you stop for six months, of course your co-ordination is going to be down a fraction. So I had the tests and everything was fine.”

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