Brian O'Driscoll took to social media on Tuesday to share his delight with the IRFU's decision to belatedly reward his father - along with 11 other Irish internationals - their long-awaited Ireland cap.
In the ears prior to 1986, the IRFU only awarded caps to players who made appearances in test matches against the established "original" nations of England, Scotland, Wales, France, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia, meaning many played for Ireland without actually winning caps.
One of those was Brian O'Driscoll's father Frank, who played two test matches for Ireland in 1970 against Argentina, winning not one cap for either match.
Now, the IRFU have announced details of a formal ceremony this summer to honour 12 players - including Frank O'Driscoll - who did not receive their international caps.
Father of Brian O'Driscoll part of group to earn belated Irish caps
Brian O'Driscoll has been campaigning for his father to receive an international test cap for nine years now. He first commented on the lack of caps in June 2014, saying:
Congrats to all the new caps on tour. In 1970 Ireland toured Argentina with one Frank O'Driscoll. 2 Tests, no cap. IRFU need to put it right.
The IRFU's latest announcement has brought a smile to O'Driscoll's face.
In a statement, the IRFU said that they would award international caps to 12 players who played for Ireland but did not earn full caps between 1946 and 1989. They will be added to the official list of Irish international players, as players #1142 through #1153.
The players will be honoured and presented with their caps in a pre-match ceremony at Ireland's World Cup warmup against England at the Aviva Stadium on August 19.
Added to the list as international #1149 will be Frank O'Driscoll, 53 years after he made his first appearance for Ireland against Argentina.
Brian O'Driscoll took to Twitter to share his delight with the news, referencing his 2014 tweet calling for the move.
9 years on from this request & 53 from the Test debut itself Frank O’Driscoll is finally getting his Test cap awarded to him. It means a hell of a lot to him. Thank you IRFU for getting there. https://t.co/UCaSAKPilP
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) April 18, 2023
It's not just Brian O'Driscoll who was thrilled with the news.
The IRFU president John Robinson said in the statement that he was thrilled the association was finally making the decision to honour the players in question:
This is an important acknowledgement of their efforts as times have evolved and I know that this cap ceremony will bring great pride and recognition to the players themselves, their families and indeed to their clubs. I look forward to welcoming the players and their guests to Aviva Stadium in August.
The full list of 12 players receiving their long overdue recognition from the IRFU are:
- #1142 - Jack Delton (Old Belvedere) - 1946
- #1143 - Hugh Dolan (UCD) - 1946
- #1144 - Hugh Greer (NIFC) - 1946
- #1145 - Jack Guiney (Bective Rangers) - 1946
- #1146 - Des Thorpe (Old Belvedere) - 1946
- #1147 - Paul Traynor (Clontarf) - 1952
- #1148 - John Birch (Ballymena) - 1970
- #1149 - Frank O'Driscoll (UCD) - 1970
- #1150 - Leo Galvin (Athlone) - 1973
- #1151 - Emmet O'Rafferty (Wanderers) - 1976
- #1152 - Rab Brady (Ballymena) - 1985
- #1153 - Paul Clinch (Lansdowne) - 1989