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In search of BOD - Neil Best at the Singapore Sevens

By Neil Best

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Man is a being in search of meaning


Not me though. I spent my weekend in search of Brian O’Driscoll. Having recently dislocated and broken my thumb playing veterans rugby – after two operations and three weeks on – I managed to require hospital treatment for a serious infection in the same hand. But when I heard Drico was in town I discharged myself from hospital and headed off to the Singapore 7s in search of O’Driscoll.

Post playing Drico remains very much in demand but I figured he would be amenable to a few polite questions from a former teammate – and of course he was. In the dressing room O’Driscoll always came across as thoughtful and intelligent as he was fiercely competitive on the pitch. As a pundit, commentator, he’s carried that professionalism, thoughtfulness and intelligence with him. Like any Irish rugby fan, he’s obviously delighted in the progress that the Men’s 7s set up has made in qualifying for next year’s World Series. And he pinpointed Jordan Conroy as a real emerging star for the Irish side -expect big things from him next year. But overall he was realistic that the team need to consolidate with the step up next season and build their consistency and competitiveness.

As for the World Cup Drico sees the problem that needs resolved is at half back and it’s one of form that hopefully will resolve itself before Japan. As a Leinster, as well as Ireland legend, I was curious what he made of Rhys Ruddock’s existence on the periphery of Joe Schmidt’s Ireland set up. Ruddock makes an enormous contribution at Leinster, who remain the best club side in Europe, he’s a leader and I wondered what more he needs to do to break into the Ireland side. As far as Drico was concerned O’Mahony still offers more as a starter, in the lineout and on the deck. Though he’s clear that Ruddock should be on the World Cup plane to Japan in the Autumn.

O’Driscoll wasn’t just admired by teammates for his on-field play -he was hugely dedicated in the gym too. I vividly still remember Drico doing 55kg dumbbell presses, inclined. He doesn’t do that anymore but has gone back to the barbell bench instead. Anyway, he’s still clearly in as nearly good shape as me.

At the end of the day I returned to hospital for further treatment. Feeling a little bit like Murdock returning after an A-team operation. I really enjoy Singapore 7s weekend -put simply it’s a great advert for Singapore as a city and rugby in Asia. Made even that little bit better by have a true Irish rugby legend like Brian O’Driscoll being a guest in town for it.

What is there more kindly than the feeling between a host and a guest?


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In search of BOD - Neil Best at the Singapore Sevens