Thursday 14 December 2017

BOD was worried he had long-term brain damage


Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll

Rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll has admitted that he had huge concerns over his physical well-being after feeling that he was "slowing down a bit" after his retirement.

Ireland's most capped player said that he was so worried he had a raft of neurological tests carried out to make sure there was nothing wrong.

"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," he told the Sunday Times newspaper.

Thankfully, the former Ireland captain and Lions star was given the all clear by specialists.

"Excuse the pun, but I think it was in my head," he said.

"When you are doing something for 15 years and 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."

The BT Sport and Newstalk pundit has also waded into the discussion over the sport's darker side - namely, the number of head injuries sustained by top stars like Johnny Sexton.

But O'Driscoll said the surge in coverage was partly down to Sexton's high profile, and he had some advice for his former team-mate.

"It gets highlighted because he is the poster boy of Irish rugby. He is Ireland's most important player, so when an individual has had concussion issues and an extended period out, interest is going to be heightened," he said.


"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-on collision situations, because he is very 'chest up'."

Former Racing Metro star Sexton had to undergo a series of tests in order to be cleared for Ireland's Six Nations opener against Wales yesterday.

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