Brian O'Driscoll

(25 Jul 2008)
BOD portrait.jpg Thumbnail1.jpgBrian O'Driscoll (born 21-01-1979) is the current Ireland rugby team captain and plays at number 13 on both sides.

Having played his first rugby match at 11 years of age for Willow Park National School, he moved on to Blackrock College where he developed a passionate interest in the game of rugby. He gained international recognition for the first time in 1996 gaining 3 caps for Irish schools.

He was then a member of the Irish team that won the IRB under-19 World Cup in France in 1998 and got 3 under-21 Irish caps in 1999. He was selected for the senior Irish squad in April 1999 against Italy but remained on the bench. He was then selected for the summer tour to Australia and made his debut winning his first cap at the age of 20 on 12th June 1999 in Brisbane, Ireland losing 46-10. He played in the Rugby world cup that year.

In 2001 Brian was selected for the British and Irish Lions Tour to Australia, appearing in all 3 tests. In 2003, following the international retirement of Ireland captain Keith Wood, Brian was awarded the Irish captaincy. O' Driscoll then led Ireland to a second-place finish in the Six Nations, and in the process, a Triple Crown.

In 2005, O' Driscoll became Ireland's first Lions captain since Ciaran Fitzgerald in 1983 and was selected to lead the Lions on the tour to New Zealand. Unfortunately, it was a short lived tour with his shoulder being dislocated during the opening minutes of the first Test against the All Blacks in Christchurch on 25 June 2005. He remained as non-playing captain on a losing tour and underwent surgery upon his return to Dublin. He returned to full fitness to lead Ireland to two more Triple Crown triumphs in 2006 and 2007, and was named as the RBS Player of the Six Nations in both years. In September 2005 Brian signed with the IRFU to stay at Leinster through the 2007 World Cup. An ever proud Irish man, he then signed a new contract with the IRFU that will keep him playing at Leinster until 2011.

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