O'Driscoll: You knew how important the England game was when that freak John Hayes was crying
Brian O'Driscoll believes that John Hayes' famous tears during the national anthem against England in 2007 demonstrated just how much the fixture means to Ireland.
Both teams will renew rivalries in the Aviva Stadium this Sunday with both sides having won their two opening fixtures of the championship.
Speaking on Newstalk's Off The Ball programme tonight, memories were recounted of that hugely historical moment in Irish sport eight years ago.
Martin Johnson's England visited GAA's headquarters, with God Save The Queen played at the site of Bloody Sunday.
The 'Bull’ Hayes was in a flood of tears prior to the incredible 43-13 win and O'Driscoll admits he wasn't aware of the Munster prop's emotion at the time.
"I was oblivious to it," he admitted. "I didn't know it was going on. Hayes was never one for singing anthems too loud, so I couldn't tell there was emotion or not. It was only subsequently I saw it, when I saw the tears in the pictures.
"If I had known, I don't know if I would have started laughing or whether I'd have started crying myself.
"You knew how important the game was when that freak was going to be crying."
The former Ireland captain admitted that keeping emotions in line was something he rarely struggled with during his career.
"There is a fine line keeping things in check. Yeah there's emotion involved, but I don’t know, I never really let it go too often in the anthems.
"I think you are more excited about the game rather than letting the emotion take over from that."