Brian O'Driscoll: O’Brien can go out on a high this weekend

From the sunny clime of Portugal's Algarve, Brian O'Driscoll looks ahead to this weekend's Champions Cup Final.

By Gary Heatly
9th May 2019
By Gary Heatly
9th May 2019

Sean O’Brien can be a nuisance on Saturday and help Leinster lift the Heineken Champions Cup for a record fifth time on Saturday, according to Brian O’Driscoll.

Up front, O’Driscoll knows the Leinster pack will face a battle against Saracens in Newcastle and he has backed openside O’Brien to be crucial as to how the game pans out.

The 32-year-old is moving on to London Irish after this season and O’Driscoll, who last week was running a rugby camp in Quinta do Lago in Portugal, said of his former team mate:  “Sean is an immense player, you only have to look at how many yards he covers in a match to see that.
“He is an expert around the breakdown and while Saracens will make it tough for Leinster there if he can get some joy early on then that may plant a seed of doubt in the opposition’s minds.

“Not only is he a great performer, but Sean is one of the leaders in that Leinster team and he is very good at adapting and changing tactics if things are going wrong and that will be important against this Saracens side who can throw lots of different things at you.”

Meanwhile, EPCR European Player of the Year nominee Garry Ringrose and Jordan Larmour are the men who can break down Saracens defence.

Leinster head to St James’ Park as defending champions with the 2015/16 and 2016/17 winners standing in their way.

O’Driscoll, the former Ireland and British & Irish Lions centre who lifted the trophy three times with Leinster, believes this match is “too close to call”, but feels that if his old club are to be victorious then backs Ringrose and Larmour will be key.

The duo impressed in the quarter-final and semi-final victories over Ulster and Toulouse respectively and O’Driscoll said:  “I really do think this is one of the most evenly matched finals for year.

“Both of these teams have been flying in the Champions Cup and you can see by they way that they came through their semi-finals that they are full of confidence.

“It promises to be an epic battle up front and if the Leinster pack can get enough dominance in the set piece then they have to use that ball wisely and try and get Ringrose and Larmour on the ball as much as they can.

“They both know how to find space and to create something from nothing and against Saracens that is always crucial because their defence is always so well marshalled.

“Leinster have a very experienced spine to their team though and the likes of Sean Cronin, Devin Toner, Scott Fardy and Johnny Sexton will not let them be rushed by the opposition.

“They will hope to marshal things and allow the more flair players time on the ball and it really should be a cracking match.”

For more on Brian O’Driscoll’s rugby camps visit:

The Rugby Magazine

Filed under: Champions Cup, Leinster Rugby
Written by: Gary Heatly
Follow: @G_HMedia · @therugbymag

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