Cheika won’t rock the boat with BOD

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika insists he won't be putting undue pressure on Lions legend Brian O'Driscoll to leave Leinster. [more]

Cheika won’t rock the boat with BOD

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika insists he won’t be putting undue pressure on Lions legend Brian O’Driscoll to leave Leinster.

O’Driscoll has been heavily linked with a switch to the Sydney-based Super 15 franchise after admitting he is considering a southern hemisphere sojourn when his current contract expires at the end of the season.

Cheika worked closely with the star centre in leading Leinster to their first Heineken Cup crown in 2009 and much has been made of that relationship being reignited now that the former Stade Francais boss is in charge of his home-town side.

But while Cheika has made it clear that O’Driscoll could shine Down Under, he has no plans to force the issue at the risk of upsetting his old province.

"Obviously I know Brian very well. It is no secret that he is one of a number of top players over there who would love to come down and play in the Super 15," Cheika told AAP.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

"I saw him before I left – I went to say goodbye. But we haven't spoken since. I wouldn't want to do that to him or the club. He is in the middle of a season, the Heineken Cup is still on and they are focusing on that.

"It (Leinster) is still my club and it is very close to me and I would not want to disrupt their season. That is Brian saying how he feels about things and what he might like to do."

O’Driscoll is currently aiming to lift a third successive continental crown with Leinster, as well as avenge back-to-back PRO12 Grand Final defeats to Munster and the Ospreys, before hopefully embarking on a fourth Lions tour.

The 33-year-old’s dreams of representing Britain and Ireland’s elite once more were dismissed by critics after he spent much of last season on the sidelines with a neck and shoulder injury but his form since returning last spring has forced many into a rethink.

O’Driscoll has already toured Australia with the Lions 11 years ago and he appears to be right in the middle of the selection mix for a return next summer.

Adding to his tour appearances in 2001, 2005 and 2009 would be a huge achievement and a massive challenge but choosing to accept the invitation if it does come would be far easier than deciding to decamp to the opposite side of the world for his final flourish on the club scene according to Cheika.

"It would be a big decision for him to leave Ireland," added Cheika.

"But the thought is there with all the top players (that) they would all love to come down and have a try – there is no doubt about that.

"We don't have a marquee player (at the Waratahs)… and whether we would go down that road is something we would have to discuss."

To read O’Driscoll’s thoughts on a possible move to the Super 15, please click here

Previous story Wallabies set to seize the initiative
Next story Stoking the Newcastle coals