O'Driscoll fit for last game of rugby

Published Wednesday, 21 May 2014
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Brian O'Driscoll has told UTV he will be fit to play his last game of rugby next weekend.

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He left the field early against Ulster last weekend after he clashed with Iain Henderson and suffered a concussion, but the Leinster man said he is aiming to lift one more trophy before he retires.

O'Driscoll said: "Personally it would have been a disappointing way to finish, going off, but it is nice to have one more final to play for. I feel good."

Ireland rugby stars were at Stormont on Wednesday for a special celebration in their honour.

It was the first time that any Irish rugby team were invited guests at Parliament Buildings, and they brought the RBS Six Nations trophy along with them.

The team took the title in March following a dramatic victory over France.

Wednesday's event brought together players and staff from the team and among the household names present were captain Paul O'Connell, Ireland's most capped player Brian O'Driscoll, local heroes Rory Best and Andrew Trimble as well as coach Joe Schmidt.

O'Driscoll told UTV it was fantastic be in Belfast for the celebration.

"The boys from Belfast, from the north have been down in Phoenix Park, we had events down there over the last couple of years so it's lovely to mark the occasion being up here in Stormont," he said.

Although he joked that some of the players were looking "disdainfully" at each other following Ulster's Pro12 semi-final defeat to Leinster.

"It's part and parcel of being part of this team," he added.

He admitted he was pleased to be finishing his rugby career with a home final for Leinster against Glasgow at the end of May.

He said: "Obviously, it would have been a disappointing way to have finished, going off, but thankfully we managed to turn it around and it's nice to have one more final to play for."

Coach Joe Schmidt used the opportunity to present Ulster players Dan Touhy and Luke Marshall with their Six Nations medals, both missed out on the celebrations in Paris due to injury.

"It's been a great honour, it's also been great meeting some of the people have been really incredibly supportive of Ulster Rugby, with the ministers having backed the redevelopment of Ravenhill, which now is a world-class facility," Schmidt said.

First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were also there to greet the team along with the host, Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín.

Minister Ní Chuilín added Ravenhill, which her department contributed £14.7m to redevelop, could be hosting even bigger events in the future.

She said: "I have already indicated my support for the proposed bid by the Irish Rugby Football Union to host the Rugby World Cup in Ireland in 2023. It would be wonderful to see the competition taking place here and perhaps a home Championship win for Ireland.

"Finally, I wish the Ireland team every success in the future, particularly for their upcoming test series against Argentina, which takes place next month."

© UTV News
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1 Comments
Joe in Co Down wrote (119 days ago):
Great to see the Irish team in Belfast after all they represent the whole country not just Dublin.
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