O'Driscoll losing the captaincy isn't the end of the world; we should trust Kidney's decision
That’s why I was flabbergasted by the some of the criticism Declan got last week. It went over and above the normal level I thought. And, to be honest about it, it felt like people divided up along provincial lines. I thought we were past that at this stage.
I heard people question Declan’s loyalty, which is crazy. I heard it said that this was an insult aimed at Brian, which is crazier again.
Every coach has his faults and I had lots of rows with Declan but the one thing I would never have said about him was that he’d do anything for a reason other than the good of the team. I don’t see how anybody who has played for him or been around him or even just watched him from the outside could think that.
The plain truth is that this team was in big trouble before the Argentina game. They won that day and they looked very good doing so but one result doesn’t change everything. Declan has obviously decided that the dynamics of the squad need shaking up. Ireland can’t rely on the Brian O’Driscolls, Paul O’Connells and Ronan O’Garas forever. Declan might well have looked at how the Munster thing went on a bit too long relying on too many of the same lads and figured he didn’t want to make the same mistake again.
Whatever the reason, he has decided that this is the time to change it up. He might be right and he might be wrong. But you can’t hold trying something new against him.
That’s why I thought some of what was said about him last week was out of order. I’d have hated to have seen what would have been said if he’d chosen somebody who wasn’t a Leinster player to pass the captaincy on to. This might come across as a Munster player defending his old boss but I don’t want it to sound like that. We should be above that sort of thing.
I think it’s a shame that Brian O’Driscoll won’t be captain. If it was up to me, I would have left things as they were. But making big, brave decisions is what has got Declan Kidney to where he is.
Maybe we should trust a bit more that he knows what he’s doing.