‘Leinster were rash to fire O’Connor’ – BOD

Date published: July 6 2016

Former Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll believes Leinster made a mistake to fire former head coach Matt O’Connor with a year left on his contract.

O’Driscoll, who revealed that he was part of the committee that hired Leo Cullen as the Australian's replacement, said he thinks it was a ‘rash’ decision to part ways with O'Connor at the end of the 2014/15 season.

O'Connor is now the joint caretaker coach at Super Rugby outfit the Reds.

"What happened beforehand, with the firing of Matt, if they had their time back would they hold onto him for another year? Quite possibly. Perhaps, it was a little bit rash," he told the Irish Independent.

"You have to understand the whole situation to realise that, yes, he (Cullen) probably got the role before his experience would have, maybe, warranted or would have liked.

"At the same time, when a job is offered to you, irrespective of the circumstances, it is difficult to turn it down.

"What was he to say? 'Oh no, I will stay in my senior role.' Knowing both sides, it is not as cut and dried as it might appear."

O'Driscoll said he thinks recruiting Graham Henry as a Leinster consultant on a short-term basis is a positive step.

The 37-year-old, who played under Henry when he coached the British and Irish Lions on their tour to Australia in 2001, feels the former All Blacks boss will lift the standards at the Irish province.

"I know the All Blacks were big on standards, not having balls down," added O'Driscoll.

"That is driven by the coach to make sure that mediocrity isn't acceptable. It is a positive step. Leo is the one that instigated it which makes it even more positive.

"He doesn't feel it's a threat. He's encouraging it and enhancing his knowledge, which has to be a good thing."