Former Ireland rugby captain Brian O’ Driscoll gives us an insight into the mind of one of the greatest players to ever play the game thanks to O2.ie/rugby
Brian O’ Driscoll is undoubtedly the greatest ever player to don the Irish jersey. On the field, the Leinster centre is a leader of men and has been Ireland’s hero for many years. BOD’s highlights reel is a script reminiscent of a Hollywood film and he plays an Oscar-worthy leading role.
From his hat-trick in the Stade de France to his wonderful try against Cardiff in the 2012 European Cup quarter-final, BOD has done it all. However, today we are going to look at the man behind the jersey. Delving into BOD’s psyche, we are introduced to a Bruce Springsteen fan who loves nothing than a bowl of cheesy chips.
The former Ireland captain has enjoyed so many wonderful moments in sport, and when asked what his most memorable was, the answer was simple. “I’ve been so lucky to have been part of many memorable days and games, but it’s hard not to look to the 2009 Grand Slam win.” said the former Ireland captain.
“It was the culmination of many years of work, and disappointments, of being an almost team, so to finally win the Championship in such dramatic circumstances – it was just a fantastic and a phenomenal feeling.”
O’ Driscoll played a starring role in Ireland’s Grand Slam. It united the nation and will forever be remembered as one of the true great moments in Irish sport.
With a list of tries as long as his arm, BOD was given the difficult task of selecting his favourite. Unsurprisingly, he chose his try for the Lions against Australia in 2001. “I love the try that I scored during the 2001 Lions Test against the Australians. They were reigning world champions at the time and they had an incredible defensive record so it was great to score that from 40 yards out.”
O’ Driscoll also mentioned that his recent try during the win over Wales in Cardiff was another fond moment during his career. “That was certainly not an eye pleasing try but it was a hugely important try for us in that game.”
Playing out a career surrounded by huge men like Paul O’ Connell, Sebastien Chabal, Martin Johnson and John ‘The Bull’ Hayes, one might think O’ Driscoll would find it tough to pick out his toughest competitor. Wrong.
“Pound for pound the hardest player I’ve met is Johnny Wilkinson.” O’ Driscoll said firmly. “During the 2003 Grand Slam game, I took a hit off him with a couple of minutes to go. I had a dead leg after it for about two weeks. His timing was just impeccable and I felt every ounce of power he possessed behind each collision.”
During an illustrious Leinster, Ireland and Lions career, O’ Driscoll has continuously come up against the best players in the world. However, there is one player that sticks out as the best of his generation.
“Richie McCaw will go down as potentially the greatest player of our time; playing for the All Blacks as an open side, the man is just a phenomenal player. I have played against him on a number of occasions and he is such a tough competitor. I just have a huge amount of respect for him.”
In a career filled with constant pressure, O’ Driscoll finds solace in music. Sadly, his playlist is not as thrilling as his on-field performances.
“I listen to a hugely mixed bag of music; Recently I’ve been listening to Sia, Breathe Me and James Arthur, Impossible but I’m a big Springsteen fan so he always gets a shout on the playlist.”
Leading the life of an elite sports star can be very challenging and sticking to a rigorous training regime and a strict diet is very important. However, the Irish superman admitted that a bowl of chips is his Kryptonite.
“Sometimes you just have to reward yourself” said O’ Driscoll with a smile. “When you’re training really hard it’s important to reward yourself. I have to admit, I love a bowl of chips; Eddie Rockets cheese chips. Wow!”
Off the field, O’ Driscoll has begun one of the toughest challenges he has ever faced, becoming a father. His wife Amy Huberman gave birth to a baby girl just over two weeks ago. Who knows, if the new addition to the O’ Driscoll sticks to her father’s regime of Springsteen and chips, we could be looking at a very successful Irish Women’s rugby in twenty years.