Thursday 14 December 2017

'I had seven beers on the Tuesday night before the first test!' - Brian O'Driscoll on how Lions tours have changed Newsdesk Newsdesk

The Lions build-up is in full flow as Warren Gatland's men prepare to depart for New Zealand at the end of May, and some Irish legends regaled people with some of their touring tales this evening.

Speaking to Off The Ball on Newstalk tonight, Brian O'Driscoll, Keith Wood and Donncha O'Callaghan swapped war stories while giving a hilarious insight into how drinking culture on tour has been changed over the years.

O'Driscoll's admission of how he spent a weeknight in the build-up to his famous Lions test debut in 2001 got a particularly big reaction from the crowd. The ex-centre famously scored a sensational try as the Lions walloped the Wallabies, but it is fair to say that his preparation didn't come from a sports science manual.

"I had seven beers on the Tuesday night before the first test in 2001," O'Driscoll said to howling laughter from the crowd.

"I would have said 2001 was tame compared to 1997," Keith Wood added, with the hooker having played on the previous tour to South Africa when professionalism was in its infancy.

Donncha O'Callaghan then claimed that second row Simon Shaw, who gave a Man of the Match performance in the second test of the South Africa series in 2009, had been enjoying himself a bit too much in the build-up to the game because it looked like he wouldn't be involved.

"Simon Shaw had the best game of his life in the second test having been called in from outside the squad," O'Callaghan said.

"He had been out on the lash for eight days solid. He had photos with every Lions supporter."

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