The evergreen Donnacha O’Callaghan is relishing another year with Worcester.
For the second year in a row, former Munster lock, Donnacha O’Callaghan was named Worcester Rugby player of the year. The 38-year-old has continued to show incredible work-rate and passion in the English Premiership.
However, despite the personal success O’Callaghan has enjoyed over the past few two seasons, his side has failed to make any impact on the rugby field.
Speaking to the 42, O’Callaghan said,
“I found this season massively frustrating and I’m so glad it’s over if I’m being honest with you, I found this year mentally tougher than physically.”
“When I signed up I was clear on the position I was coming in to and it was to stay up in year one and push on in year two,”
However, Worcester would only win 5 games all season in the Premiership. O’Callaghan added:
“An awful lot went on off the pitch as well but sometimes players just have to grab it and take control themselves”.
“To be fair, I don’t think we did that a whole lot. We needed Gary to come in and crack the whip and to be fair he did and we got a response to it but it’s just a bit of frustrating really”.
Prior to the season O’Callaghan hoped for a big season for his side. As things transpired, were it not for Bristol’s brutal form, Worcester may be plying their trade in the championship next summer.
“As players we can be massively disappointed and it’s one of the biggest things with Worcester, we’re saying oh ‘we shouldn’t be in this position’ instead of actually rolling up your sleeves and getting on with it,” he says.
“That can be a problem when you’ve got a talented group, you almost feel sorry and think we’re better than we are but if we don’t go out and produce it, that’s all that matters.
“Losing is draining. Winning is such a relief and everyone is a little bit happier around the place. I was finishing off my degree and I had to do a work placement in the commercial side of it and you’re hearing in meetings that if we were to be a Championship side next year, six of the people in the front office would have to go and you’re thinking, what we do has repercussions. I just found it a massively pressured year”.
“The set-up here, it’s an incredible facility and believe me when I say it there’s an incredible squad there. We’ve a really good group. Sometimes I think part of the problem is them understanding how good they are. Losing becomes draining and negative and guys second guess and question themselves.”
O’Callaghan had been a Munster stalwart for years and was one of the most popular players of his era. The second rower from Cork is further proof that age is just a number and is a testament to the dedication to his training, diet and dedication over the years.
Worcester fans can look forward to another year of O’Callaghan as the team looks to improve on this season.