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Brian O'Driscoll Explains Why Jared Payne May Have Been The Most Critical Absence

Brian O'Driscoll Explains Why Jared Payne May Have Been The Most Critical Absence
By Conor Neville Updated

Brian O'Driscoll has fired off a few texts to some of the Irish players.

I texted a few of the boys and one of them said it was considerably worse than four years ago. And from my perspective it that was pretty bad.

On Off the Ball yesterday, O'Driscoll discussed what went wrong in what he described as a 'not totally unexpected' defeat.

On the injury score, O'Driscoll cited Sexton and Jared Payne as the two biggest losses, with the latter's absence being particularly critical from a defensive point of view.

He explained how the outside centre role is such an important one in terms of defensive organisation. He is best placed to recognise when the team is too narrow and when the team are vulnerable on the wing.

As a 13, and I'm not shooting down Earlsy. He plays a lot on the wing so he's not as up to speed as some people at 13, but the role of the 13, and sometimes this is just selfishness, is to pull guys out to ensure they have width because you don't want to get burned on the outside.

For me, it was always that case. It was always 'get out to me I've got too much work to do on the outside', but we just seemed so incredibly narrow that the first pass would miss four or five guys and the next pass could miss another three. You're taking half the team out with two passes.

He also disputed that Ireland did anything special in attack. He praised Luke Fitzgerald's finish but said slack Argentinian defending had a lot to do with this score.

He acknowledged that the southern hemisphere are playing a different brand of rugby to the northern hemisphere and he said that Ireland would have to open up and become a little less risk averse.

You've got to play a little bit more expansive and you've got to take a few more risks to get the rewards and I think that came back to bite us a little bit.

He noted that Irish players were often physically smaller than the players from Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand, and so 'we have to out-think them a little bit and I don't know did we do that well enough.'

Listen below:

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Read more: Watch: England's Joe Marler Gave A Ridiculous Justification For This Late Hit

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