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Henry Shefflin describes praise from BOD as 'great lift'

O’Driscoll recently described the Kilkenny hurler as the greatest Irish athlete of all time.

Henry Shefflin.
Henry Shefflin.
Image: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

HENRY SHEFFLIN HAS revealed that it gave him ‘a great lift’  to hear Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll describe the Kilkenny hurler as the greatest Irish athlete of all time.

O’Driscoll partook in a Q&A last month ahead of this summer’s Lions Tour where he answered questions from the readers of the Telegraph.

O’Driscoll was described as Ireland’s greatest ever athlete by one reader but insisted that his vote for that title would go to Shefflin.

“It’s the hurler Henry Shefflin, this guy has been an absolute phenomenon for the last 12,13 years. He’s won nine All-Ireland championships with his county and they’re not easy to come by.”

And Shefflin, who is currently sidelined with a stress fracture on his foot, has described it as ‘surreal’ to hear such praise and revealed how he is ‘in awe’ of the Irish rugby team.

“Of course it feels unreal. It’s a bit surreal because I, like every other person in the country, looks on in awe at the national rugby team.

“To hear someone say that is special. It does give you a great lift of confidence, because obviously when you’re struggling with injury or something, just to hear something like that does drive you on more.”

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Both 34 year-old Irish sporting icons are approaching the latter stages of their careers and both are set to tell their life stories in book deals that have been confirmed with the publisher Penguin.

O’Driscoll is set to collaborate with the sportswriter Paul Kimmage for his while Shefflin is to work with Vincent Hogan of the Irish Independent.

However Shefflin quashed speculation that his book is to hit the shelves later this year.

“The arrangement with the book was that it would happen whenever I finished up. I didn’t say what year it was coming out.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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