Brian O’Driscoll's remarks hit a raw nerve in Ulster

Brian O’Driscoll's remarks hit a raw nerve in Ulster
Jono Gibbes attempted to adopt a diplomatic stance in response to comments from Brian O'Driscoll. Picture: INPHO/Matt Mackey

By Jim Stokes

Brian O’Driscoll’s comments about Ulster being a “bit of a basket case” has certainly hit a raw nerve around Ravenhill.

Departing head coach Jono Gibbes attempted to remain diplomatic when quizzed on the matter at a press conference yesterday ahead of Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 game with Munster at Thomond Park.

O’Driscoll’s comments came on the back of reports that the IRFU were keen on sending either Joey Carbery or Ross Byrne to Ulster.

Gibbes said: “I’ve seen the headlines but I haven’t analysed it a lot. A guy like that is entitled to his opinion. I don’t know in what context it was, or how it came about.”

He continued: “I don’t really know why he’s talking about with Joey Carbery or Ross Byrne. I don’t know the context of the question or what he’s after. You know people are taking the opinion from the outside of Ulster Rugby and, unfortunately, it’s a negative one. But we can’t control that can we?

“We do our best to represent the people as best we can, we do our best to put performances together out there and, win, lose or draw, hopefully, we’ve reflected a massive team effort.

“If a guy like that has played a lot of Tests wants to label us a ‘basket case’ then I don’t know what you want me to say about that!”

Gibbes said Jean Deysel will miss the trip to Thomond Park with a knee injury while scrum-half John Cooney will be monitored. Craig Gilroy, who will have served his suspension following comments he made on social media, is also available for selection.

This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.

More on this topic

McCloskey wants Ulster to learn and develop from near missesMcCloskey wants Ulster to learn and develop from near misses

Lyttle ready to fight for his place on Ulster wingLyttle ready to fight for his place on Ulster wing

Rob Herring back from Japan to captain Ulster against ZebreRob Herring back from Japan to captain Ulster against Zebre

Ulster score five first-half tries to brush aside winless Southern KingsUlster score five first-half tries to brush aside winless Southern Kings

More in this Section

Davis misses penalty as Northern Ireland’s automatic qualification hopes endDavis misses penalty as Northern Ireland’s automatic qualification hopes end

Leinster boss Cullen salutes impact made by returning Ireland starsLeinster boss Cullen salutes impact made by returning Ireland stars

Johann Van Graan hails ‘vital’ late try as Munster conquer OspreysJohann Van Graan hails ‘vital’ late try as Munster conquer Ospreys

It’s the right time for Gomez to ‘clear his head’ – England boss SouthgateIt’s the right time for Gomez to ‘clear his head’ – England boss Southgate


Lifestyle

About 70% of our planet is covered in water, in one form or another and it is vital to our survival.Appliance of science: Where does water come from?

Touched by the last rays of the sun, the grey mud of the estuary is dimpled with silver pools. Above them, rooks fly in their thousands, rooks uncountable, on different levels of the air.Interplay of rooks above Cillmanister a lovely mystery

A NEW survey confirms the presence of at least six rare spiders in Killarney National Park.Six rare spiders found in Killarney National Park

IT WAS written about an old ruin in Co Wexford but it may as well have been written for any other place.Islands of Ireland: Cows come home to Inishbarra

More From The Irish Examiner