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In Pics: RBS 6 Nations Champions Touch Down In Dublin

In Pics: RBS 6 Nations Champions Touch Down In Dublin

There were joyous scenes at Dublin Airport on Sunday afternoon as Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad – the newly-crowned RBS 6 Nations champions – were welcomed home by the thousand-plus supporters who turned out at Terminal 2.

Click on the below links to view photos of the Ireland players and coaches arriving home with the Six Nations trophy in tow:

RBS 6 Nations Champions Depart Paris – Gallery 1

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RBS 6 Nations Champions Arrive In Dublin – Gallery 2

Speaking after touching down with the Championship silverware, victorious captain Paul O’Connell said: “It’s great to be back with the trophy. There was about five or 10 minutes there towards the end of the game where I didn’t think we’d be coming back with it.

“I didn’t think we’d have waited as long after 2009 (when we won the Grand Slam). I thought we would have kicked on. It’s a great feeling and an incredible reception here from the supporters today as well.”

Asked about Brian O’Driscoll ending his career with a second Six Nations success, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt admitted: “Fairytales do happen. Sometimes fairytales happen because you get a bit lucky but I think the harder he (O’Driscoll) worked the luckier he got.

“After the game I just said ‘thanks mate’ – that’s as special as it gets probably.”

Schmidt also modestly played down his role in guiding Ireland to the Championship crown in his first season at the helm, stating: “The team drives themselves and that makes my job easier.”

Meanwhile, O’Connell confirmed that Gordon D’Arcy’s famous beard is no more – as revealed on some of the players’ Twitter pages over the weekend.

“I was there beside it (the beard-shaving) but I didn’t get involved. I let them at it. I think he’s going to grow it back. I think he was happy enough with it,” added the Munster lock.