Brian O'Driscoll: Ireland would have to 'give up' gaelic football to match All Blacks

Brian O'Driscoll says Ireland isn't obsessed by rugby.
Julian Finney/Getty-Images

Brian O'Driscoll says Ireland isn't obsessed by rugby.

Irish rugby great Brian O'Driscoll believes Ireland can never match the All Blacks unless the country gives up sports like gaelic football.

Ireland beat England 13-9 last weekend in Dublin to end the visitors' hopes of breaking the All Blacks' world record streak of 18 tier one tests wins, as well as ending their effort to win back-to-back Six Nations Grand Slams.

It was also Ireland who stopped the All Blacks recording their 19th consecutive win with their stunning 40-29 victory in Chicago last November.

But O'Driscoll says Ireland isn't obsessed enough by rugby to get close to the All Blacks, with the sport fourth in the pecking order behind hurling, gaelic football and football.

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"Are we ever going to be the consistent level of New Zealand? No, we're not," O'Driscoll told Irish radio station Newstalk.

"I just don't think we are because I don't think we have the ground work done in our players and I don't think we have the depth of players or the player numbers to be able to facilitate that level of competition, to drive the standards that high.

"Unless we decide to give up other sports, particularly gaelic football, and pool all those resources into rugby, I don't think we can get to that point."

Ireland's win over England secured second place in the Six Nations and guaranteed them a top seed for the 2020 World Cup draw taking place in May.

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O'Driscoll said that was a "monumental achievement".

"We are a nation for five to six million and it's our fourth-choice sport and yet, we're fourth in the world," O'Driscoll told Newstalk.

"God knows what the playing numbers are in England, in New Zealand, Australia I think, they're still the fourth-choice sport themselves."

 - Stuff

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