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O'Driscoll could lose captaincy

Ireland
by Mickado (U8586946) 08 August 2008
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Well folks, there's been alot of talk about BOD losing the captaincy and it now looks as if Kidney is hinting at it too.

One question i'd like to ask is how much was Brian's game affected by being the captain? Will taking it away from him help his game at all, maybe some people are meant to be leaders and their game is improved by it. I'm just shooting the breeze here, trying to provoke debate...

Anyway, here's the article from the beeb website:

"Ireland coach Declan Kidney has hinted he may end Brian O'Driscoll's long reign as captain of the national team.

O'Driscoll took over from Keith Wood in January 2004, taking Ireland to three Triple Crowns before the team badly underperformed at the 2007 World Cup.

"Brian and I have been talking and taking a look at things," said Kidney.

"He's done a very good job as captain but at the same time, you want to give him a small bit of space. We'll see how things go."

Kidney, who led Munster to two Heineken Cup triumphs, was named as Ireland coach in May but did not take charge until after the summer tour to New Zealand and Australia.

He suggested that any change in the captaincy would be aimed at freeing the talismanic O'Driscoll to rediscover his best form.

"Come November we'll take a good look at it and we'll see how things are going," added Kidney, who has an extended Ireland squad together in Cork this week.

"At the moment, I think it's important that he just gets a chance to concentrate on his own game - because he's been shouldering things for the last five years.

"It wouldn't be usual anyway to name a captain at the start of a coaching set-up. We'll just see how things go and give him a chance to enjoy his own rugby."

O'Driscoll is regarded as one of the world's best centres and was named as skipper of the 2005 Lions tour to New Zealand, although he was injured in the opening moments of the first Test.

Since taking over from Wood on a permanent basis in January 2004, O'Driscoll has led the country to three Triple Crowns.

But the team's failure to secure a Six Nations championship, and the humiliation of a woeful World Cup campaign in France have seen the Leinster star's leadership come in for criticism.

Munster duo Paul O'Connell and Ronan O'Gara would be the leading candidates to take over should O'Driscoll lose the captaincy.

Meanwhile, Ireland team manager Paul McNaughton has confirmed the proposed Test with South Africa, which the World Cup-holders wanted to stage in the United Arab Emirates on 1 November, is now "90% certain not to go ahead"."

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posted Aug 27, 2008

I have never believed BOD to be a good captain, he always seems to get up referees noses.His public slating of Peter Stringer during a W.C game was atrocious. He did the same to Horgan during a Leinster game.Ronan O Gara is the only obvious contender as he is undroppable,has the calmest head on the pitch (remmember his captaincy for Munster against Wasps, a masterful display as player and captain,he made fool of Dallaglio) POC for pack leader.Heaslip and Kearney are super players,but as they still learning the game and are too young,I believe it would be silly at best to consider them as captain. A Leinster supporter.

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posted Aug 27, 2008

I know everyone has off games so I am probably being a bit harsh but... I can't see POC as captaincy material. I watched the game when Munster lost at home to Leicester and it was due in large part to poor reading of the game by POC in a pressured environment. He can be a superb payer and his off days are rarely THAT bad but I don't think he is astute enough. ROG is a player i have never warmed too. Some of his bad days are risible at best. In the Heineken Cup Final of 2002 he was dreadful, conceding the winning try when Austin Healey of all people simply ran through a ROG 'tackle'. At RWC 2007 he just went missing. If BOD goes then we are sayinf 1) that some of Ireland's problems hae been down to him 2) that there is definitely someone better able to take the mantle (unless you plan to drop BOD as a player in which case you need a new captain anyway). I don't really think that BOD has been responsible for Ireland's shortcomings and I don't think there is an obvious 'upgrade' out there waiting to be captain. Maybe in the longer term one of Ireland's outstanding back row player will be the man but it's a bit hard to say that right now.

As mentioned before i felt the real trouble was cultural - i.e. that Ireland were too pleased with themselves for winning a triple crown but not focussed enough on consistently beating the very best out there. And for that Eddie O must take some blame. I suspect the advent of Kidney will shake them out the comfort zone and hopefully see Ireland improve which would be great for all the 6N and N Hemi rugby.

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posted Aug 27, 2008

Christophergreen2004, i don't think anyone blames BOD for Irelands probles. It is time for a change - it is time to let BOD do what he does best and let the captaincy up to someone else - How can you rule ROG out because of a missed tackle over 6 years ago??? Paul O'Connell is the obvious candidate for the job but I agree that one of the Back rowers could be captain in the future - Leamy, Jennings (if he can cement his place) heslip! Either way a change is needed for the team to move forward.

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posted Aug 27, 2008

The general arguement seems to be that O'Driscol's game has been affected by the captaincy and even though POC is an icon of Irish rugby his on off form does not merit the post. ROG is a good player when he is on form but if he has a bad game the whole team suffers and he struggles to regain his composure. I think it should go to someone who can take us to the next world cup. So age would be a factor. i think the obvious choice for captain would be Reddan. Think about it. Pros and con.

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posted Aug 27, 2008

my arguement is quite simple. All our 'star' players BOD,POC,ROG,D.Wallace are coming off the career crests. Its not to say they cant compete at top level but that to give them the captaincy would only and pressure to them, when they should be focusing on their personal game. Their influence on the team is priceless especially the younger player. THe younger players Fitzgerald, Kearney, Heaslip, Bowe are coming through nicely but just lack the experience to hand them the captaincy would hamper thier development. Reddan is a good choice because his position allows him to control both pack and backline(lesser extent) which is essentially the role of a captain. More importantly he is hitting his peak IMO which is where you want your leader to be as it ususally reflects the team performance. THe only negative i can see is he has notbeen test as a decision maker. Other then that a good candidate.

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posted Aug 27, 2008

Is everyone else forgetting about a real contender for the captaincy...Shane Horgan??? Power house of a player!!!!

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posted Aug 28, 2008

Dennis Leamy for captain???? As A Munster supporter that is a shocking judgement call, he is like A.Quinlan in his ability to give away penalties at will, but if time time was on wallace's side he'd make a good transistional choice. Is Heaslip worth a mention?

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posted Aug 28, 2008

Are Ireland that short of centres that BOD is still playing?
As an avid supporter of the game I noticed BOD's pace starting to wane several years ago, albeit masked slightly by the wily old fox being able to spot gaps and read defences to earn a half yard over the defence.
Now that the rush defence seems to be the in thing, poor old BOD is getting caught out too often.
ROG is a good choice but like all players has off days. Horgan is too much of a headcase to give the captaincy too.

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posted Aug 28, 2008

Dairefitz I take your point on ROG, it is unfair to judge him on one missed tackle 6 years ago (shocking though it was). I've just never really bought into ROG. I think like Dallaglio for England he seems to have very good PR. People remember some of his excellent performances but forget that at times he has been really poor (more for country than club admittedly). I think Ireland's best interests will be served by sticking with BOD for the interim, he's still a class player even though a bit slower these days. Then maybe next year bringing through one of the back row players into the job.

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