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Georgie Thompson:

The life of Brian

We get up close and personal with O'Driscoll

Georgie Thompson Posted 26th August 2011 view comments

When Brian O'Driscoll made his first captain's speech, it was written for him, handed to him and he read verbatim the words he saw in front of him without looking up once.

I was stunned when I heard that. It wasn't how I had envisaged the Ireland and former Lions captain delivering a speech.

As it turns out, he was so stunned by the experience he decided from that moment on he was going to do things his way; and from the day that followed to this, he has always written his own captain's speeches. I suspect nowadays he rarely looks down at all.

Captain and leader: we get up close and personal with O'Driscoll

Captain and leader: we get up close and personal with O'Driscoll

For this week's Special Report , Rachel Wyse got to spend some backstage time with O'Driscoll - but discovered, through speaking to his team mates and his family, that the leader on the pitch is very similar to the person off it.

As Paul O'Connell and Ronan O'Gara point out, this is a man who 'leads by example'.

Examples

These days O'Driscoll leads others but he has drawn on the examples set by those who have led him in the past - from his school rugby captain to World Cup winner and the current England manager Martin Johnson - and combined what he has learnt to package together his own style of captaincy, of leadership.

As it turns out, he was so stunned by the experience he decided from that moment on he was going to do things his way; and from the day that followed to this, he has always written his own captain's speeches. I suspect nowadays he rarely looks down at all

Georgie Thompson
Quotes of the week

In the programme he talks of highs in the game, like winning the Grand Slam in 2009 and lows, including that 'spear tackle' which could have ended, if he hadn't been so fortunate, much more than just his 2005 Lions tour.

Aside from rugby, he speaks about his family life and his wife, who he claims he pursued relentlessly until she agreed to go out and ultimately marry him.

His mum Geraldine recalls how proud she was of her boy putting on a green jersey for the first time and his dad does what all dads do, embarrasses him on a regular basis, still, at the age of 32.

With the World Cup almost upon us, O'Driscoll is determined to make his 'last' as memorable as possible.

What happens after that though? He'll probably have a Nando's...

To find out more Join me on the Special Report, Mondays at 7.30pm on Sky Sports News HD channel 405. If you forget to Sky + our weekly report you can always catch it on Sky Anytime and follow me on twitter @officiallyGT.

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