Donncha O'Callaghan is startled at the physical size of today's young players and admits he'd prefer to see the amateur-era game of evasion and skill rather than the collision based game of the professional era.    

O'Callaghan was a surprise guest - they're all surprise guests - on Tommy Tiernan's chat show on RTÉ 1 on Wednesday night. 

"When we were coming out of school, we were told, 'don't do weights, they'll slow you down!' Whereas these fellas are coming out now having followed brilliant training programmes while they were in school. So they're arriving ready to go. 

"You look at the Irish team in the autumn, loads of young brilliant players who we would have thought would have had to wait their time. But they're physically in incredible shape.

"Even the Fijian team that Ireland played in the autumn, they're the heaviest backline ever to play rugby. Their backline is the same size as me. They're huge men. 

"Back in the '70s and '80s, it was a skill game. The onus was on getting around your opposition, ducking and diving. It wouldn't have been good for a player like me, I'm one gear and go straight at people."

O'Callaghan turns 39 in March and is adamant that he will be done with professional rugby in May.

Since leaving Munster in 2015, he's spent the past few seasons playing for Worcester Warriors in the Aviva Premiership, which he admits is an often trying experience for someone who hates losing. 

"I don't think I get a buzz off the wins, I just try and avoid the troughs," he said. 

"I would rather avoid a loss because I carry it with me and I'm bad company.

"At the moment, I'm going over and back to Worcester and we've been losing an awful lot of matches. So [my wife] Jenny sends me a text saying, 'saw you lost. Please don't come home in bad form... PS, bring a Toblerone for my old fella."

"This is a question (the retirement question) that causes trouble because my wife says, 'May! You're done in May!' So, I'm done in May... I'm ancient in rugby circles.

"I've been answering that question since I was 30. People have said to me, 'you're surely gone this May?' So I've dodged the bullet a few times.

"I'm in two Whatsapp groups. One for the Munster lads who are all hitting 40ths and 50ths, and last night I was invited to a 21st on the Worcester Warriors one. One bunch are talking about going for fake tans and the other boys are chatting about getting the snip." 

He also touched delicately upon the vexed issue of the cultural differences between the Irish and English, pronouncing that the latter are "no craic".  

"I miss home. They're no craic, the English. Tommy, I'm serious. They're sound, they're really nice people, they're polite. There's no craic."

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