Former Leinster and Ireland star Brian O’Driscoll has hailed the influence of Michael Cheika on the province, saying that he put in place the foundations on which Leinster's European success was based.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, O’Driscoll reflected on his career and the coaches who had a big influence on him.

Although O’Driscoll said Joe Schmidt, former Leinster head coach and current Ireland head coach, was the best he had played under, he also highlighted Cheika’s contribution.

“I think he probably would be top of the list,” the 35-year-old said of Schmidt.

“At an important stage in my career I got a real kick out of his level of coaching; not just his man-management but the way I learned under him and how I was able to modify my game.

“Beginning into my 30s I enjoyed what he had to say and I loved that he was encyclopaedic in his knowledge.

“I think another person that deserves a big mention is Michael Cheika, who changed things for Leinster and changed the mentality of many, many players.”

Cheika looks set to be appointed as the new coach of the Wallabies following the resignation of Ewen McKenzie over the weekend.

O’Driscoll credited the Australian with introducing foundations and structures on which Leinster built to find great success.

“[I was] massively frustrated throughout the early parts of the 2000s, because Munster were year on year competing at the highest stage in European rugby, and we were – we got to a semi-final in ’03 and capitulated.

"And then, [it] again happened in their success in 2006, they went on to win it and beat us well in the semi-final,” the former Ireland captain said.

"We were in disarray. We had had four coaches in four years in Leinster, and it was just a little bit of a mess"

“I was kind of looking around and thinking we were in disarray. We had had four coaches in four years in Leinster, and it was just a little bit of a mess.

“And then Michael Cheika came in and he gave us structures and he built a mentality and an environment that we were able to – they were the foundations we needed to able to build on.”

As a result of these developments, O’Driscoll said, Leinster had been able to go on and win three Heineken Cups.

“I’m very glad that I hung around, because I was definitely thinking about moving away in the mid-2000s.”

The 141-cap former centre also had some harsh words for so-called ‘Lunsters’ – Leinster people who supported Munster rather than their own province.

“That was a huge frustration. I couldn’t understand, because you’re born where you’re born, and you’re brought up as – well, certainly, if you’re brought up as a Leinster person you’ll always stay a Leinster person.

“I couldn’t imagine over the course of the last five years, when Leinster have enjoyed some success, anyone down in Munster thinking, ‘You know, we’re not going so well, maybe I’ll go up and support them for a while.’”