O'Driscoll by a mile. Umaga has been a consistantly very good for the All Blacks, a dominant team. While O'Driscall a gamebreaker for Ireland, an average team.
End of the day, Umaga could always have been replaced and the ABs would have functioned the same. Yet If O'Driscall was out, Ireland floundered (ala the Joey Johns factor for Newcastle).
Interesting argument there, Serge. And one that I can hardly agree with it.
By saying that O' Driscoll was a gamebreaker for an average team is not really a compliment. Anyone that was a decent international player would be a gamebreaker in an average team.
Umaga was a key member of a very good All Black side and that meant that he was a superstar. Anyone that ever saw him play would always notice that the amount of work that he did off the ball was massive and he retired whilst at the top of his game - something that not many players actually do.
Check out Umaga's try rates and compare them to O'Driscoll (I believe that Umaga finished on 36 tries from 74 test matches) and by international standards that is pretty impressive. Also surely it is harder to score loads of tries when you are surrounded by other quality players then if you are the only gamebreaker. And you can't forget that Umaga also helped set up loads of tries.
I completely disagree with that.
Being on a good team makes it easier to be a better player. Look how well players do when they come and play for Canterbury. It means they get better ball to use from the forwards and more room to use and just quality players around them in general creating more confidence. Look at Rico Gear playing for Nelson Bays (last year) he was nothing for them for the fact that players around him could not supply what he needed to perform, so I do believe it is harder to be a gamebreaker in an average team.
Also it would be a lot easier to score being in the better team for the mere fact that look how many more tries the All Blacks have scored compared to the Irish. I think Umaga has been a solid player for NZ but has been majorly overated.