It seems only right that this month’s Sporting Hero is dedicated to one of the best, if not the best rugby player of my generation, who is not only continuing to break records with his 141 international caps, but playing his last match later today. In fact it is doubly relevant given that it is St Patrick’s weekend (as well as my little sister’s 30th – Happy Birthday Lu!) with a potential Six Nations win for Ireland on the cards as well!
I have been watching the 5/6 Nations since the 8o’s, and to be honest I can’t really remember Brian O’Driscoll not being involved and at the forefront of the tournament. He has always been a very skilled player, but also seems a genuinely nice guy too, well spoken in interviews and passionate about the game. It helps that Ireland also have my favourite anthem (the brilliant Ireland’s Call, which should really be on my playlist), and the emotion you could feel last weekend in his final home game was truly inspiring.
My personal favourite memories of this sporting legend (and I really mean that) were his leading Ireland to their first Grand Slam in 60 odd years in 2009, as well as his awesome try for the Lions in 2001, and were it not for injury (let’s not go into reasons) I am sure he would have had even more on the board. The thing with rugby is that although the tries are obvious stand out moments, it is not all about that, and the extra subtleties such as handling skill, tackling technique, fitness and leadership are also massively important, and Brian has always been exemplary in this area.
So as much as I would like to see England come out on top by the end of today, it seems fairly fitting for Ireland to go out on a high, and for once I will be hoping they manage it! Brian, you will be genuinely missed.