Brian O'Driscoll hoping to emulate Roy Keane in the TV punditry stakes
The former Ireland rugby captain will work with BT Sport next season.
Brian O'Driscoll aims to follow the example of Roy Keane when he starts working as a rugby pundit for BT Sport next season.
The newly retired Dubliner stressed the need for a balance between cold analysis and strong opinions as he works on the newly formed European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup next season.
"You can see in different sports that different ex-players have been able to marry the two and while not necessarily remaining popular, certainly can be respected by those who are still playing and can give a good, balanced, knowledgeable opinion about what is going on," O'Driscoll said at a press event in London on Friday.
"I think that is what people want, they want that little bit of an inside track."
"The game moves on so quickly and it is about trying to understand some of the nuances about what is happening, rather than just what they are seeing for themselves on the pitch – it is about the reasons why tackles are missed and scores happen, so hopefully I will be able to add my tuppence worth.
"It is just an opinion, one which is not necessarily correct, but one which I am going to put out there."
"It is interesting because Roy was very much into the punditry while he was not involved in any management, and now he has shelved that for a while.
"Roy is a clever guy – he probably does not have the same filter that a lot of people have, but I think that is why you get a lot of entertainment from him.
"I don't know if I will go on the same tack as that, but hopefully I will be able to impart similar sort of knowledge about our game."
O'Driscoll says he will not be afraid to criticise players that he used to line up alongside for both Leinster and Ireland.
"I found in the past when I did a bit of punditry, I was very conscious of not saying anything negative about people I played against, because players are like elephants and they remember when someone says something – I stored things for years and just waited for my opportunity," he said.
"But there are lots of different ways to criticise someone, it is in the manner you go about it. You don't have to cut them at the knees – someone who is a great player but has an off day, you don't have to tell them it is the end of their career.
"I imagine my first few involvements will be trying to understand what points I am trying to get across.
"I don't really see it being difficult, because I am not going to be going after people's personalities, I am just going to tell them what I have seen on the pitch that particular day."