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Brian O'Driscoll Recalls Powerful James Ryan Moment During Visit To Ireland Camp

Brian O'Driscoll Recalls Powerful James Ryan Moment During Visit To Ireland Camp
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Ireland's victory over France this afternoon was a monumental one, with the 80 minutes of action at the Aviva Stadium very much living up to the pre-match billing.

A clash between the two highest ranked teams in the world, the pair provided a game that was befitting of such status. The first half in particular was a mesmerising affair, featuring incredible tries, some heroic defending, and even a questionable refereeing decision or two.

While the second half was a more cagey affair, it was difficult not to be impressed with the way Ireland managed the game and saw out a 13-point victory.

There is no doubt that this is a landmark win for Andy Farrell's side. Facing the best team they will play this year, they overcame the test and added an exclamation mark to their status as the world's best team on current form.

Considering the size of the occasion, it was no surprise to see plenty of emotion from the players before the game. Jonathan Sexton had tear in his eyes as Ireland's Call rang out at Lansdowne Road and he wasn't the only one.


Speaking after the final whistle, he revealed how a visit to the camp earlier this week from Brian O'Driscoll and Craig Doyle added to the emotion of the occasion.

We had a very special week, a special buildup to the game. We had special guests in during the week who spoke about Ireland's Call. It was very emotional. Unless you were in the room on Monday night, you wouldn't understand why!

Brian [O'Driscoll], Craig Doyle and the Doc came in and spoke to us about the Shoulder to Shoulder documentary.

The documentary in question, which was released in 2018, chronicled the importance of rugby as a unifying force on the island of Ireland, with players from both sides of the border pulling on the green jersey to represent the country. It had a particular force on its effect during The Troubles, as well as the importance of Ireland's Call as an anthem.

Brian O'Driscoll recalls powerful James Ryan moment during Ireland visit

Of course, the Irish rugby team are in somewhat of a unique position in the sporting landscape. They have two national anthems, a move taken to ensure inclusivity for all creeds.


Speaking on ITV, he recalled a powerful moment from James Ryan after the squad watched the documentary.

It focused through The Troubles in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and the unifying effect of that jersey North and South.

It's such a multicultural environment now, you've got Kiwis, South Africans, and Hawaiians and all sorts. It has changed.

It was just to get a sense of where the jersey has come from and the journey it has been on through the last 50 or 60 years.

At the end of it James Ryan, who is a history graduate himself, stood up and spoke. He spoke incredibly well, it was so passionate and from the heart.

He talked about the importance of Ireland's Call. We're in the unusual position of having two national anthems, but Ireland's Call is for everyone on the island.

He is clearly a very academic and smart guy.

As O'Driscoll points out, James Ryan is a hugely impressive character both on and off the pitch. He is a real leader in this Ireland team, something Andy Farrell is not short of within the squad.

In a stark contrast to Ireland sides of the recent past, this one only seems to be getting better with a World Cup on the horizon. The togetherness in the camp has plenty to do with that.


Long may it continue.

SEE ALSO: Brian O'Driscoll Dumbfounded By Wayne Barnes Refusal To Award France Red Card

brian o'driscoll wyane barnes france red card
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