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21st Oct 2014

“I Knew I Wanted to Marry Amy After 8 Weeks” BOD Opens Up in Adorable Interview

One of Ireland's sporting heroes has put his story to paper.

Rebecca McKnight

Well this might melt your heart…

Former Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll joined Ray D’Arcy in studio this morning for a one-hour special ahead of the release of his much-anticipated book The Test: My Autobiography later this week.

Brian opened up about his greatest achievements both on and off the pitch (including how he wooed his wife Amy Huberman), and also spoke about some of the obstacles he faced during his career.

Speaking about his proudest achievement of his career, Brian admitted that it was winning the Grand Slam with Ireland that is closest to his heart: “Don’t get me wrong, I loved winning the Heineken Cup with Leinster… But for full inclusion of the whole country, from national pride, particularly at the timing of it as well – we were in the depths of the recession – and you could feel a palpable sense of joy on the streets. It really lifted people for months and to be part of that was really special.”

Brian also admitted that he’s a bit of a romantic and that he knew that he wanted to marry his wife Amy Huberman early in their relationship: “After 8 weeks I had a fair idea that I wanted to marry her. People say ‘When you know you know’ – genuinely, it was a case of that.”

Their initial courtship was all BOD’s doing too. After seeing Amy on the television, he mentioned her to his PR agent, who orchestrated a group meeting where the pair would meet. It didn’t go exactly to plan, as two of Brian’s friends came along and were a little worse for wear (“half-cut”). All was not lost, however, as they arranged to meet a few days later at a comedy gig where he finally asked the actress for her number.

British Lions Reception At Downing Street

He added that Amy made him wait until they were together for a year before agreeing  to move in with him.

O’Driscoll’s baby number two is due in 5 or 6 weeks time and Brian explained that daughter Sadie (20 months) has no idea what to expect but that she knows the word “baby” and kisses her mummy’s bump.

Chatting about his arrest in New York City in 2008, an event that features in The Test, Brian admitted that it was a relief that the story hadn’t leaked at that crucial time in his career: “I was floundering a little bit, bad form, I obviously was dealing with some personal issues and I just was in a bad place mentally, and having that hang over me for that 6 month period was really, really tricky.”

Speaking about his time spent in ‘the tombs’ (the cells in midtown NYC), Brian explained how unnerving the experience was: “You don’t know how long you’re going to be in for, you don’t know anyone, no-one spoke to me. 15 hours feels like 15 years.”

On missing out on the IRB Player of the Year Award 2009 to New Zealand captain Richie McCaw – for which Brian was hotly tipped to win – he admitted: “I’m not saying that he [McCaw] wasn’t deserving of it that year, but I was disappointed that I didn’t win it and I’m not really one for personal awards, but that was one that I really would have loved – to be able to look back and gone ‘you’re the best player in the world for one year in your career’, that would have been lovely.”

The Test: My Autobiography will be on sale from this Thursday, 23rd October.