Eddie O'Sullivan on how Keith Wood's words led to a "lightbulb" moment about Ireland's captaincy

Ex-Ireland head coach and Brian O'Driscoll talk winning cultures with Off The Ball in Galway

Keith Wood, Eddie O'Sullivan, Ireland, rugby

Keith Wood with coach Eddie O'Sullivan ©INPHO/Patrick Bolger

Eddie O'Sullivan says a conversation with Keith Wood just after his elevation to Ireland head coach helped inspire a positive change of the role of national team captain. 

Wood was the obvious choice to continue on as captain when Eddie became Ireland coach in 2001, but the former skipper was unsure if he would continue on in the role without a support structure of other senior players.

That chat became a "lightbulb moment" according to Eddie.

He was speaking to Off The Ball and Wood's captain successor Brian O'Driscoll at tonight's Roadshow at The Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa in Galway.

"I remember the first meeting I had the day after I was appointed was I drove down to Killaloe and I had lunch and dinner with Woodie in his house. We spent a lot of time talking and the message he came to for me was he was happy to continue as captain of Ireland if he had support around him," Eddie recalled.

"If it was going to be him on his own, doing all the talking, doing all the fetching, he said he didn't really want to do it, that he wanted to just concentrate on his game. That to me was kind of a lightbulb moment in terms of 'yeah, he's right', you can't just push a guy out to the front and say 'you're the captain, it's on your shoulders'. We had to build a support structure around him and that's where fellas like Brian [O'Driscoll] came in, fellas like [Kevin] Maggs at the time was huge ... Simon Easterby, ROG grew into it."