Paul O’Connell’s Story Of The First Time He Played Against Brian O’Driscoll Is Hilarious


Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll are the two most recognisable names in Irish rugby.

The pair have played together many times over the years with Ireland and the Lions, but they’ve also had their fair share of battles on the field against each other playing for Munster and Leinster.

In O’Connell’s book, The Battle, he reveals how the two didn’t exactly get on when they first crossed paths on a rugby pitch.


O’Connell recalls the first time he came up against O’Driscoll in the 2002 Celtic League final. It was a fiery affair with Leinster playing most of the game with 14 thanks to Eric Miller receiving his marching orders.

During one fracas between the forwards, O’Connell spotted O’Driscoll getting involved an O’Connell wasn’t happy…

‘I said the first thing that came into my head – “F**k off and stop trying to be the hard man!”
‘He just laughed. He was only nine months older than me, still 22. But he had 20 caps for Ireland and three for the Lions.
‘When he was playing in the 1999 World Cup, I was a bouncer at Nevada Smyth’s bar in Limerick, hoping to break into the Young Munster first team.’

Paul O’Connell as a bouncer… Now that’s a scary thought.

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