So… Grand Slam glory, RBS 6 Nations Champions and now the blue-eyed boy captain of Ireland has yet more silverware to display on his mantlepiece – RBS Player of the Championship.
But what makes this one a little special was the fact it was voted for by the fans – 24,000 of them to be exact. Of that 24,000, Brian raked in nearly a third of their votes, only narrowly beating Italy’s Sergio Parisse in the final voting hours.
B O’D seemed pretty chuffed with the accolade, but made sure to dedicate his achievement to both the fans and his teammates:
‘It has been such an immense week already and to be named the RBS Player of the Championship is a fantastic end to what has been a phenomenal Championship. This year’s RBS 6 Nations has been a special Tournament for me and the team for lots of reasons – it’s been fantastic for Irish rugby and for the whole country. ‘
‘To be voted RBS Player of the Championship by the fans makes it extra special but I’m really proud of our team effort right the way through the Tournament and I would not be in this position if it was not for my team mates. The support of the fans throughout our campaign has been unwavering and a huge part of the team’s success on the pitch – I’m just glad we could reward them too by bringing home the Grand Slam.’
Good job Brian, good job.
All you rugby fans out there who have spent the last few weeks screaming at the TV/pitch for shocking decisions that affect the whole outcome of the game (officials ganging up on England, blah blah blah…) – now you get the chance to actually make a difference.
The RBS 6 Nations press office has thrown open the final vote for RBS Player of the Championship to rugby fans – EVERYONE gets one vote online and you can vote right here.
The shortlist, picked by highly knowledgeable and trustworthy former internationals, is:
- Delon Armitage (England)
- Lee Byrne (Wales)
- Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
- Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
- Paul O’Connell (Ireland)
- Sergio Parisse (Italy)
Initial unofficial rumours show O’Driscoll with a narrow lead, with the beautiful Sergio Parisse catching up fast in close second. If you don’t like it, change it.
Shane Williams, receiving last year's accolade - © Getty Images for RBS
The SA Brain beer brand has once again struck inspired marketing gold in their efforts to evade France’s alcohol ban in sponsorship and advertising.
Since the marketing genius of SA dreamt up the replacement of ‘Brawn’ for ‘Brains’ when the Welsh side played in Paris in 2005, the brand has become known for its clever avoidance of the stringent French marketing rules.
In this year’s RBS 6 Nations, Wales once again travel to Stade de France for the first Friday night game that the Tournament has ever had, on 27th February. And when they take to the field, this is what the boys in red will be sporting across their chests:
This has the double effect of ‘essai’ translating as ‘try’ in French, and spoken aloud it is an invitation to ‘try’ Welsh beer brand ‘SA’.