herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

O'Driscoll hits out at 'Lunster' fans but O'Gara explains the attraction

Retired rugby ace Brian O'Driscoll said he cannot understand 'Lunster' fans - rugby supporters from Leinster who support Munster teams over their home province.

In the early part of the star's career, Munster were year-on-year competing at the highest stage of European rugby, while Leinster and O'Driscoll were well off the pace.

Many fans from Leinster, some with family ties to the southern province and others without, backed the Munster team instead of Leinster during the last decade.

"That was a huge frustration. I couldn't understand, because you know you are born where you are born.

"You're brought up as, certainly if you are brought up as Leinster person, you will always stay a Leinster person," O'Driscoll said on RTE radio.

loyalty

"I couldn't imagine over the course of the last five years when Leinster have had some success, anyone down in Munster thinking 'we are not going so well maybe I will go up and support them for a while'.

"That just shouldn't be the way and there was huge frustration in that.

"I suppose for me, it was a lack of loyalty, and loyalty is a big thing in my life," O'Driscoll said.

Fomer Munster star and Racing Metro assistant coach Ronan O'Gara thinks it's understandable why rugby fans would have an alliance to the red army.

"The Munster team caught the imagination of the nation," he said yesterday.

"They came from all over Ireland to Thomond Park - it is a special place to play."

The former Irish player revealed he will miss getting all the rugby gossip from Jonny Sexton when the Dublin man returns home next season.

Sexton will end his two-year stint with the Parisian team when he links up with Matt O'Connor's Leinster side at the end of the current campaign.

"Jonny is a quality player and a quality guy," O'Gara told the Herald.

"And he is the only Irish person in the club; when you are away from home you really appreciate that.

"It's nice to catch up and see what's going on at home, he would be in contact with a lot of people back home so he's always good for gossip."

O'Gara added that from a rugby point of view Jonny's decision to leave is a "huge loss" but believes "he's making the right decision for Ireland's sake and his own".

O'Gara was in Dublin yesterday to promote Ben's Beginner's an initiative that encourages Irish parents to cook with their children and educate them about nutrition.

"I'm here to promote healthy eating and improving kid's diets," O'Gara explained.

hnews@herald.ie

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