Tuesday 11 December 2018

Stockdale hits back at O'Driscoll jibes

Ulster star Jacob Stockdale. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Ulster star Jacob Stockdale. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Ulster's Grand Slam winner Jacob Stockdale has hit back at "ridiculous" claims from former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll that the club is a "basket case".

Asked last week about current goings-on, O'Driscoll described the club as a "basket case".

Stockdale also insisted there was no rift in the dressing room, saying recent events had only galvanised the team.

The former Ireland captain referred to Jordi Murphy, the Leinster winger due to move to Ulster, and suggested he could be forgiven for now having doubts over the switch. O'Driscoll said: "They don't have a coach, (they're) a little bit of a basket case at the moment, and he's going up there to try and play his rugby from next year on."

But Ireland winger Stockdale (22) slammed the comments, saying: "I think he called us a basket case, which, to be honest, I think is ridiculous. We are competing for the PRO14 play-offs, we are actually in quite a good place and I think he could probably count on his hands how many times he has been up at Ulster Rugby in the last five years. So, I think the comments are pretty unfair."

The Lurgan man insisted there is no rift in the Ulster dressing room and claimed that the side's current morale is high.

"In terms of within the club and in terms of the players, there is absolutely no split," he added.

"To be honest, everything that has gone on outside of Ulster Rugby and the stuff that you can't control has almost galvanised us."

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