O’Driscoll thanks the Irish fans

Irish captain Brian O’Driscoll has thanked rugby fans in this country for turning out to welcome the squad home from the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Ireland departed the World Cup at the quarter-final stage, losing out by 22 points to 10 against Wales on Saturday. However,the country’s huge support here at home and in New Zealand was evident throughout the tournament.

O’Driscoll told RTE Radio: “As much as our overriding feeling is one of disappointment, it’s lovely to be greeted with this reception at the airport. Thanks to everyone who came along.

“It’s great to see so many people, young and old, turn out to support us. It certainly softens the blow a little bit.”

With RaboDirect Pro12 and Heineken Cup games now on the horizon, O’Driscoll said the immediate plan is to “go and lie on my couch for a week and let the body heal! A lot of us are mentally and physically drained, so we’re just looking forward to a bit of downtime before we kick into the provincial season again.”

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