Ireland and Leinster legend Brian O’Driscoll believes his old team will be the side to beat again in this year’s European Champions Cup.
The tournament gets underway on Friday night with reigning champions Leinster taking on Wasps in a match that is exclusively live on BT Sport.
O’Driscoll, who won the trophy three times as a player, would not be surprised if Leinster triumph again.
He said: “It used to be a thing, being a three-time winner but that has been gazumped by five or six lads that have managed to win four trophies, and they will think they can win five and maybe more.
“Toulouse have four, they (Leinster) have four and they will want to be the first team to five. That’s attainable and they have the squad in place.”
He continued: “They are a team in great shape, comfortably the best team in Europe. That doesn’t mean you are always going to win it. They had to grind it out in the final (they beat Racing 92 15-12) but some of the rugby they played was scintillating. They are the team to beat again.
“With Exeter and Sarries going well in England and the French league starting too, Europe is such a brilliant competition because there could be 10 or 12 different winners depending how the pool stages go.”
Brian, who is now a pundit across BT Sport’s extensive rugby union coverage, was speaking at a BT Sport Google Garage event in Belfast, where licensees learned how to make more of their digital presence to help grow their businesses.
And in a question and answer session, Brian, who has 975,000 followers on Twitter and 273,000 on Instagram was also able to provide some direct advice about the pros and pitfalls of social media.
“Social media is a really weird one because you see a lot of narcissism and ego but it’s a necessary evil at times to promote yourself and the best of your business,” he said.
“I enjoy it and watch it with one eye closed at times because there are plenty of pitfalls with it too and you have to navigate your way through that. It is definitely something that is worthwhile and it’s not going away.”
He added that he also has one very important rule when it comes to engaging with people on social media.
“I find that social media is worth turning off after five drinks. I have looked back from the night before sometimes and thought ‘someone’s hijacked my Twitter account here!’. It can be dangerous to drink and tweet and I have probably done it a couple of times where I have regretted it. Ultimately that screenshot will come back to haunt you.”
He added that his work with BT Sport can provide great opportunities for content.
“You post some of that stuff behind the scenes and sometimes that can be gold. We are in a very advantageous position and that is what people are looking for these days, something a bit different and a bit quirky.”
The Leinster versus Wasps opener is just the first in what is bound to be a dramatic first weekend of Heineken Champions Cup action.
And you can now watch it on BT Sport – the home of European rugby union.
Heineken Champions Cup: Upcoming fixtures
Friday October 12 Leinster v Wasps, 7.45pm
Saturday October 13 Bath v Toulouse, 1pm
Saturday October 13 Montpellier v Edinburgh, 3.15pm
Saturday October 13 Exeter Chiefs V Munster, 3.15pm
Saturday October 13 Scarlets v Racing 92, 5.30pm
Saturday October 13 Ulster v Leicester Tigers, 5.30pm
Sunday October 14 Gloucester v Castres, 1pm
Sunday October 14 Lyon v Cardiff Blues, 1pm
Sunday October 14 Toulon v Newcastle, 3.15pm
Sunday October 14 Glasgow v Saracens, 3.15pm
- Heineken Champions Cup rugby is live on BT Sport. For further fixture information and FREE assets to help you promote matches on your website and social media visit btsportbusiness.com/fixtures