BOD pre­dicts tough bat­tle for hon­ours

Irish Examiner - Sport - - CHAMPIONS CUP -

Brian O’driscoll be­lieves this sea­son’s Euro­pean Rugby Cham­pi­ons Cup will be more dif­fi­cult to win than ever. The 38year-old, who lifted the Euro­pean Cup with Le­in­ster Rugby in 2009, 2011 and 2012, in­sists the com­pe­ti­tion for the ti­tle is at its fiercest ever.

“I think it’s tougher to win these days than when I was in­volved,” O’driscoll told “If you just look at the cal­i­bre of the Pools, there are very few sides that you think wouldn’t get a vic­tory. I feel for­tu­nate that I was in­volved in three win­ning sides when it was a lot eas­ier than it is now.”

The for­mer Ire­land c en t r e r ec k o n s the 201718 com­pe­ti­tion could have s t r o ng rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the last four again,

“I think Cler­mont and Sara­cens will be in the mix again, Le­in­ster will be there and Mun­ster won’t be a mil­lion miles away.” “And Toulon will be there again. They have the ex­pe­ri­ence and a wealth of play­ers who know how to get out of any Pool.” O’driscoll, who made 133 ap­pear­ances for Ire­land and eight for the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Li­ons, felt his first Euro­pean Cup win in 2009 was the greatest achieve­ment of his provin­cial ca­reer. “The first time you lift it has to be the most spe­cial. After 10 years of dis­ap­point­ment, it was great to go and win it against one of Europe’s big names in Le­ices­ter Tigers, hav­ing beaten Mun­ster in the semi-fi­nal. The sec­ond and third were the ic­ing on the cake, but that first one was very spe­cial be­cause it was a re­lief.” a

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