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Brian O'Driscoll Slams Imports As Reason For Irish Province's Decline

By Conor O'Leary
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The further Brian O'Driscoll gets from his playing career, the better his analysis is becoming. As the Leinster and Ireland legend feels more comfortable in speaking out against some of the problems in Irish rugby - he seems to make more and more sense. Why wouldn't he? There aren't many who have been on the inside as long as he has with the same experiences. So what does O'Driscoll think is the main reason why the Irish provinces aren't performing?

A lack of box office imports.

Those are the magic moments that we're missing in the provinces because we don't have the quality of player that we used to have.

See Also: Only One Toulon Player Is Still At The Club Since Leinster's 2009 Heineken Cup Victory


Citing Ruan Pienaar as the one exception - O'Driscoll doesn't believe there are any imports in any of the Irish provinces that are having a huge impact on the provinces both on and off the field. He believes that the quality of player coming into the provinces aren't what they were - and the addition of one marquee signing would generate huge impotus for the provinces, and their squads who would be eager to learn from a world class player.

O'Driscoll is lamenting for the days when Rocky Elsom, Dougie Howlett, and Johann Muller were coming to these shores - instead of the nouveau riche French clubs signing the likes of Conrad Smith or Adam Ashley Cooper.

I think that it's something we really need to look at, to pay big money for one marquee signing to reignite the interest in the provinces again and give an impetus to the squad as well, to see a world-class player coming into their midst that they can learn a huge amount from.

Is O'Driscoll right? Would Irish rugby be better off spending more money on marquee signings instead of developing our own talent?


Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

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