On the rugby field, Brian O'Driscoll and Adam Ashley-Cooper epitomise what it means to play the game.

Both as respectful of the sport as they are skilful, the two are idolised by rugby fans around the globe.

Surprising then was news of the pair's recent social media square-off, sparked after controversial comments were made by the former Irish international.

Speaking on Irish radio over the weekend, O'Driscoll commented on the Australian's decision to head overseas to play for Bordeaux-Bègles following the 2015 World Cup, and questioned his motives in making the move.


The former British and Irish Lions skipper was discussing the idea of Leinster utility back Ian Madigan moving to Irish rivals Munster, and used the former Wallaby as an example in explaining his motives.

"You have to weigh up everything and money is going to become a really big factor in all this. Adam Ashley-Cooper didn't go to Bordeaux to win Top 14 titles, he went for a bit of sunshine and a bit of money."

The former Super Rugby champion clearly disagreed with O'Driscoll's statement, biting back on Twitter.

And so began the long string of not-so lighthearted banter.

The Aussie looked to turn the tables on O'Driscoll, claiming he should have hung up the boots instead of pursuing his fourth British Lions Tour in 2013. However after leading Ireland to their second Six Nations title in 42 years the following season, the Irishman undoubtedly made the right decision regarding when to pull the pin on his career.

Despite Ashley-Cooper's attempt to end the conservation on a positive note, some of his former teammates had something more to add, with former NSW Waratah Stephen Hoiles even suggesting the pair square off in a charity boxing match - not the worst idea the Fox Sports presenter has ever come up with.

Throughout his 141-Test career, Brian O'Driscoll rarely made a wrong call. However his radio comments couldn't have been further from the mark.

To say Adam Ashley-Cooper has gone to the Top 14 to chase a hefty pay cheque is like saying James O'Connor left the Queensland Reds to return to France for "personal reasons" - it is utterly ridiculous.

Bordeaux may not be the most successful club in Top 14 history, but they are far from the worst. And considering Ashley-Cooper still has plenty of game time left in his 31-year-old legs, what's to say he isn't looking to impart some of that 114-Test wisdom on a side that could certainly use it?

Or perhaps the chance to challenge himself with a new style of rugby, in a new competition against some of his closest former teammates is enough of a draw card in itself.

Regardless, as difficult as it is to imagine Australia's third most capped Wallaby joining a club solely in the pursuit of financial gain, even if that is the case, you'd be hard pressed to find someone that thinks he doesn't deserve it.