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Dublin: 5°C Friday 5 March 2021

"It'll be a cauldron of noise" Waltzing O'Driscoll girls primed for 2nd Test battle

Attempts to deliver a box of Barry’s Tea to the Lions team hotel in Melbourne was met with nonplussed reaction by staff at the front desk.

Image: @RuthGorman_UTV

THE WALTZING O’DRISCOLL flag came to our attention at last Saturday, ahead of the First Test with Australia. The Lions tricolour has earned praise from the great man himself and was proudly displayed in Brisbane as O’Driscoll and his teammates won 23-21.

We caught up with Roisín Farren, one of the flag owners, the night before the Second Test in Melbourne and asked how the ‘dream trip of a lifetime’ was going so far.

There’s a group of around six of us travelling around to the games. Myself and Joanne O’Dwyer flew down from Ireland but the other four girls are all living and working down here. I’m from Louth and there are two Dubs, one from Cork, one from Roscommon and the other from Kilkenny.

So far we have met a good few of the squad and we’ve found them to be really relaxed and willing to get in for photos. We met Sam Warburton, Dan Lydiate and Tom Youngs before the First Test, in Brisbane, and we bumped into Simon Zebo, Conor Murray and Stuart Hogg the day after they beat Australia. They were all in top form.

The girls cheer on the Lions outside the team hotel.

We got up to the team hotel in Brisbane and there must have been 120 odd Lions fans lining up to cheer them off before they went to the stadium. We lined up and got into a prime spot beside the front door. When the team came out though, they looked so focused and just strode towards the bus. Their eyes were on the prize.

One of the girls, all she wanted to do was meet [Lions kitman] Rala O’Reilly. We got chatting to him in Brisbane and he told us he had forgotten to bring any tea bags with him. He told the girls what hotel the team was staying in when they got to Melbourne. They showed up with a big box of Barry’s Tea but the staff at the front desk were having none of it. Hopefully we get the tea bags to him soon.

Sadie O’Driscoll has some competition!

Before myself and Joanne flew out to Australia we decided we had to get a flag and make our mark on the tour. It had to be an O’Driscoll flag too. He’s such a focal point and an iconic figure for the team. As it is going to be his last foreign rugby tour, our minds were made up. We were going to go for ‘In BO’D We Trust’ but went for the Waltzing O’Driscoll idea as he made such an impact on his first Lions tour to Australia [in 2001]. It seemed fitting.

He has responded to us on Twitter about the flag but we would love to get a picture with Brian, us and the flag. That would be a dream.

The excitement levels are building in Melbourne and we’ve heard that the roof of the [Etihad] stadium will be closed. The last game I was at under a closed roof was Leinster v Northampton in 2011 and that was unreal. The game tomorrow will be a cauldron of noise. The numbers of fans in Brisbane was pretty even but we’re hoping to turn the stadium red tomorrow.”

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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