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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# paulie hug
Paul O'Connell admits he may hug Brian O'Driscoll a little tighter before final home game
The retiring centre may have to protect his ribs if an emotional Paulie loses the run of himself.

PAUL O’CONNELL IS brewing up a hefty bear hug for fellow rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll before Ireland’s Six Nations game with Italy on Saturday. The outside centre will play his final home game against the Italians and, try as he might to deflect attention, the match is set to be an emotional occasion.

Asked, this afternoon, if he may hug O’Driscoll a bit tighter after the national anthems are played, Ireland captain O’Connell smiled before replying, “Yeah.” He added, “It’s something that’s in the back of your mind at the moment, between the papers and things. It’s hard to think what life will be like without him.”

Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll dejected James Crombie / INPHO There was only a handshake between POC and BOD after the loss to England. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Andrew Trimble, who will start in the backline with O’Driscoll, is also open to the idea of hugging it out with the country’s leading try scorer.

He remarked, “I might give him a hug, as long as it doesn’t get too awkward. We wouldn’t really be huggers really; it’s more of a high five or a handshake but we’ll see what happens.”

Trimble added, “It;s a very special day for him and everybody is looking forward to going out there and giving him something to remember.”

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