Wednesday 17 January 2018

Flannery on...

Handing out the jerseys before the World Cup win over Australia

"DECCIE asked me to do it and I said no problem, but it wasn't scripted that I was going to come in and start bawling crying giving out the jerseys to my mates.

"When I get injured I like to go off on my own and feel sorry for myself for a day or so, but I didn't get that chance because my injury was so close to the Australian game and because we were in camp.

"There was a constant flow of lads coming into my room and you don't want to be a depressing figure, so I was trying to stay upbeat.

"Then when I was giving out the jerseys, it hit home. 'What If I don't get a chance to play with these lads again?' and after the first few jerseys I got upset.

"I pulled it back together by the time I got to Cian (Healy) but it was emotional.

"Afterwards, I thanked Deccie for the honour and he said 'you going up there and showing what it means to you pulled down the guard for everyone else'.

"I suppose I was an emotional punch-bag for a few minutes and they paid tribute to me afterwards but I wasn't out there.

"I didn't make any tackles, it was just something that happened.

"When they were walking off the pitch patting me on the head saying 'we did it for you' I felt a bit like Rudy the mascot, but looking back it was so clever out of Deccie, a real example of knowing what you are doing."

Paul O'Connell

"Ireland are very, very lucky that now Brian (O'Driscoll) is out, they have someone like Paul to step up to the plate.

"Paul is an awesome leader, he is massive for Munster and Ireland. He sets a standard and you need guys like him to pass it on to younger players what it takes to be a winner.

"His presence around the squad is huge, he looks after himself very well and hopefully he will push on to the next World Cup."

Irish Independent

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