Six Nations 2013: Ireland’s O’Driscoll trying to take pressure off Heaslip

Six Nations 2013: Brian O'Driscoll says he is trying to take the pressure of Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip ahead of France clash

Jamie Heaslip
Jamie Heaslip was named as Ireland captain before the Six Nations Photo: M+MD, via Flickr

Jamie Heaslip

Brian O’Driscoll admits he’s trying to take the pressure off captain Jamie Heaslip as Ireland bid to get their Six Nations challenge back on track against France.

The Leinster centre led Ireland for a decade after succeeding Keith Wood in 2003 but missed last season’s Championship with a shoulder injury and Heaslip was confirmed as skipper in January.

Heaslip’s tenure began in style with a 30-22 win over defending champions Wales but defeats to England and Scotland have left Ireland in fourth place.

And O’Driscoll admits the responsibility for leading Ireland forward rests with the experienced heads in the camp as much as it does with Heaslip.

“Jamie is doing a good job. I was in a very lucky situation in that I had some strong leaders around me, guys who had been in leadership roles themselves,” he said.

“The likes of Paul O’Connell were invaluable to me and Ronan O’Gara likewise. What I am trying to do with Jamie is to be an extra voice.

“There is nothing worse than being captain and feeling there is a huge onus on you to constantly talk.

“I found that when I had to say less and other people were doing the talking for me, that we were in a great place.”

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