Leinster pay tribute to talisman O'Driscoll
June 1, 2014
Brian O'Driscoll is held aloft by his Leinster team-mates after Saturday's PRO12 victory © Getty Images
Leinster team-mates and coaches have paid tribute to Brian O'Driscoll, whose glittering 15-year career came to an end after Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 final.
O'Driscoll, whose fairytale ending was disrupted when he was forced off with a calf injury after just eight minutes, watched from the stands as Leinster overcame Glasgow Warriors 34-12 at the RDS Arena to take their fourth PRO12 crown, becoming the first team to defend the title.
O'Driscoll lifted the trophy with fellow retiree Leo Cullen, and Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor said his players were determined to win for their talisman: "Brian O'Driscoll has been immense. They don't make them like that anymore and we are just privileged to have him in the environment.
"It's not all about one guy but there's no doubt everyone here wanted to make sure he, Leo and the other guys who are leaving us went out in the right way. We have worked really hard all year. They deserve it because they worked really hard throughout the season.
"It was a tough battle. We knew that it would be and we needed to put our best performance to beat Glasgow and it is no disgrace to lose to our team."
Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip hailed O'Driscoll's commitment to the province: "It was great for us to be able to send off a guy who has given so much to Leinster rugby and to Irish rugby with a trophy.
"He has been unbelievable to play alongside. We knew it would not be easy and, to be fair to Glasgow, I don't think the score reflected the way the two sides played, but we are over the moon to finish like that."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"When Mike Burton was sent off I thought the world had gone crazy - just Pommy bashing, hitting anyone." Behind the Rose heads back to 1975
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes