Jump to main content



O’Driscoll Looking Forward To Croke Park

O’Driscoll Looking Forward To Croke Park

Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll reckons his side will thrive on the atmosphere when they run out at Croke Park for the first time next month, against France and England.

Hailing the stadium as “one of the best in the world,” the Leinster centre admitted it will be a great honour for Ireland’s top rugby stars to play at GAA headquarters while Lansdowne Road is being redeveloped.

The Jones Road venue, which holds a capacity of 82,500, will be full to the brim on February 11 and 24 when the reigning Six Nations champions and World Cup winners visit, and O’Driscoll knows the famous Lansdowne roar will only grow louder when it goes north of the Liffey.

“The passion and the history behind it, it might not be so well known by the countries who will come and play there but there is so much of it at Croke Park,” he told reporters at the official RBS 6 Nations launch in London.

“A lot of the boys in the squad have been there before and seen the fanaticism of the hurling and Gaelic football, for sure. There is an aura about the place and we just feel we are incredibly fortunate to be allowed to play there.

“Hopefully it will give us that little extra element and we don’t want to let the GAA down for granting us the opportunity to play in one of the best stadiums in the world,” he added.

Having watched All-Ireland finals and International Rules Tests at Croke Park before, O’Driscoll knows just what a cauldron it can be.

Anticipating the extra 35,000 supporters who will be able to cheer on Ireland due to the ground switch, he said: “We did all our emotional goodbyes to Lansdowne after the last game against the Pacific Islands in November, but what you can say is we are not downgrading.

“There are going to be an extra 35,000 fans there (at Croke Park) and we’re all really looking forward to playing in front of such a big home crowd.”