/ Rugby

Brian O'Driscoll hints at move to Super 15 club

Updated: Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 12:49 | Comments

Brian O'Driscoll has revealed that a move to the Super 15 would tempt him
Brian O'Driscoll has revealed that a move to the Super 15 would tempt him

Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll has suggested that he would like spend a season playing Super 15 rugby.

The 33-year-old told the Daily Telegraph: “The three best teams in the world make up the Super 15 and, and you look at the individuals and you look at the calibre of the sides and the quality of Super Rugby and the intensity of it, obviously it is a hugely high standard."

The centre, who has spent his entire club career with Leinster, conceded that the opportunity may have already come and gone.

He added: "My time might have passed on that front, but I'm definitely a never-say-never sort of person.

"What excites me is the challenge playing against the calibre of player you are playing week in, week out down there. That is an exciting prospect. But whether all the pieces fit, I don't know."

O’Driscoll is expected to tour Australia with the British and Irish Lions in 2013. He has not ruled out playing in the next Rugby World Cup, which is due to take place in England in 2015.

A move to the New South Wales based Waratahs would see him link up with former Leinster coach Michael Cheika, who was in charge when Leinster won their first Heineken Cup in 2009.

Today, Michael Cheika said he had phoned O’Driscoll about the speculation.

Cheika joked: "I rang him straight up and told him to stop marketing himself"

Cheika joked: "I rang him straight up and told him to stop marketing himself.”

He added on News.Com.Au: “It's probably a good idea. I think there is some value, in the true concept of a marquee player.

"Not as part of the development program. You certainly don't want to be getting him to fill holes.

"You should be making sure every hole is filled. What we are looking at any (marquee) player would be to add value.

"I can see where the value is, for the game overall, if a player wants to come for a season and see how they do in Super Rugby.

"If we are ever going to use the marquee player idea, we could get some parameters around it. That player is going to bring something different to us. On the field and off the field.

"We would never look at bringing anyone for more than a year. Come and do a job. It could work, along those lines.

"It is good for the players to play with other guys. I have seen in other countries what foreign players can add, as far as culture and ideas. If approached the right way, it could be a good idea."

The Waratahs still have one open spot on their roster.

A host of former Super rugby players ply their trade at clubs across Europe, but only a trickle of players have made the journey in the opposite direction.

Wales international Gareth Delve has become a central figure at the Melbourne Rebels, while England’s Danny Cipriani spent two seasons with the same franchise. He has since returned to Europe to play with Sale. Freddy Michalak has had two spells with both Natal Sharks and the Sharks Super rugby team since 2008.

Leinster have had success with bringing talent from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere, with Rocky Elsom and Brad Thorn among the standouts.

At 37, Thorn remains a force in world rugby and he could yet return to the Leinster engine room in time for the latter stages of the Heineken Cup.

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