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21st Jan 2015

Happy Birthday BOD: 36 reasons to celebrate Brian O’Driscoll’s birthday

Happy Birthday Brian

Conor Heneghan

One of the greatest ever figures in Irish sport turns 36 today and, in no particular order, we’ve come up with 36 reasons to celebrate the occasion from his remarkable career to date.

1. THAT hat-trick against France, 1999

2. 133 caps for Ireland

The most capped Irish player of all time.

3. Try on his Lions test debut v Australia, 2001

4. 4 Lions Tours

1 tour as captain, 18 appearances, 9 tries, 45 points.

5. The ability to withstand this knee in the head from Paul O’Connell

6. Himself and Paulie having a laugh

7. Great tap tackle on Rocky Elsom, 2010

8. Pass to himself v Ulster, 2007

9. 245 points for Ireland

Sixth in the all-time list… behind five out-halves.

10. 46 tries for Ireland

Leading Irish try-scorer of all time, with 17 more than his nearest challenger, Denis Hickie (Tommy Bowe is creeping up fast on 28).

11. Unbelievable piece of skill and no-look pass in training on the Lions Tour, 2013

12. 33 tries in the Heineken Cup

Second in the all-time list behind Ireland’s bête noire Vincent Clerc.

13. Celebrating a Heineken Cup success with one of his biggest fans


14. 186 appearances for Leinster

Sixth in the all-time list behind Gordon D’Arcy (248), Leo Cullen (219), Shane Horgan (203), Shane Jennings (201) and Jamie Heaslip (196).

15. 61 tries for Leinster

Second in the all-time list behind Shane Horgan (69).

16. Comeback try v Cardiff Blues, Heineken Cup quarter-final 2012

17. Knowing that tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad

18. Crucial try v Wales in the Grand Slam game, 2009

19. Drop-goal v Leicester, Heineken Cup Final, 2009

20. Shuddering tackle on Danie Roussouw, Lions Tour, 2009

21. Amazing pick-up and try v All-Blacks, 2010

22. Dressing up as Kiss for the Leinster Christmas party in 2013

23. Through the legs pass v Munster, Heineken Cup semi-final, 2006

24. Through the legs pass v Samoa, 2013

25. Through the legs pass v Northampton, 2013

26. Sublime pass for Simon Zebo’s try v Wales, 2013

27. Double chip try v Wasps, Heineken Cup 2008

28. Brilliant tackle and steal on Tony Marsh, Rugby World Cup, 2007

29. Crunching tackle on Denis Hurley, 2009

30. Intercept try v Munster, Heineken Cup Final, 2009

31. Reaction to being dropped for the final test of the 2013 Lions Tour

“It wasn’t exactly as I would have liked it scripted but you don’t write your own scripts. Otherwise you’d be scoring hat-tricks every week.

“The main thing is we won the tour. One man’s disappointment counts for nothing when there is a squad full of guys who are very, very happy to have won themselves a Lions series.

“This squad will always be remembered in Lions folklore as one of the tours that matches 1997, and 1989, and 1974 – 13 is now a number that will be remembered.”


32. Consistently taking the piss out of Sean O’Brien

33. RTE’s tribute to arguably the best Irish sportsman of all time on the occasion of his 100th Irish cap

34. His reaction to shouts for him to give it another year

35. His classy tweet after his last ever game for Ireland in Paris

36. His seamless transition to the world of rugby punditry