Former Ireland centre Brian O’Driscoll is in disbelief that one Irish tradition has been shelved so soon after he hung up his boots.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest centres in the history of the game, Brian O’Driscoll retired after a hugely successful career in the summer of 2014.
However, less than three years later, ‘BOD’ was shocked to learn that one of his favourite traditions as an Irish player has already become a thing of the past.
Speaking on Newstalk’s Off The Ball, Ireland’s record try scorer explained how the squad would always get together for a ‘Super Sunday’ session as soon as the grueling Six Nations tournament was over. However, having spoken to a member of the current squad this week, O’Driscoll was disgusted to hear that the bonding session has been shelved.
“I was on to one of the boys yesterday and I was asking was there a ‘Super Sunday’ on and he told me that Super Sunday’s were a thing of the past, which I was appalled to hear,” O’Driscoll said.
“I saw some of the boys heading off on holidays on Sunday. Fine, you get four or five days off but Super Sundays are part of the release.
“The body tends to hang in there, no matter what shape you’re in, for the duration of the Six Nations and as soon as the brain switches off… the job’s done, you take a breather. The body tends to shut down. I used to break out in cold sores and you feel the niggles way more.
“That whole getting together as a team… you don’t enjoy going out on the final night out in town. No matter where you go, it’s not you as a team going out.
O’Driscoll explained how the ‘Super Sunday’ was a tradition in every aspect of the word and that the players would even go to the same location every year for the booze-fueled release.
“That’s why going to Keogh’s used to be a regular of ours. Going there, into the snug and enjoying our own company during the afternoon and having a few pints and having a laugh.
“I think back at some of the laughs and sometimes Cheltenham was on at the same time and we’d be going to the bookies next door and having a punt. It was a laugh.”
Asked if he felt that the tradition was cast aside due to the commands of the Irish coaching staff, O’Driscoll said that he would be very surprised if this was the case.
“I can’t imagine it’s a coaching staff thing. I know Andy Farrell is certainly a man who likes a pint and Joe knows how to celebrate things at the right time.”
“Granted, it wasn’t a championship but it doesn’t matter. After a Six Nations, it’s important to pull it all together and enjoy each other’s company. Enjoy it with the pressure off.
“I’m sure some of them met up but not as a collective, not lads staying up from down the country.
“The profile is still very young. Not many guys with kids, I can understand those guys heading home because they have bigger responsibilities than going out with 21-year-olds. It’s a shame that it’s not a component.”