A Year in the Centre by

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ISBN: 1844880788

They say flying can do strange things to your mind, and an aeroplane is not the best place to commit thoughts to paper, but what the hell: the little diary of a year in the life of a professional rugby player has to start somewhere, and cruising at 550 mph at 37,000 feet with my feet up seems as good a place as any.

Starting at the end of 2004, this covers a year in the life of Brian O’Driscoll, Ireland’s number 13, and one of our best rugby players. 2005 saw Ireland come close to a triple crown, and also saw a fairly large number of Irish players travel to New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions. O’Driscoll as captain.

No doubt the Lions’ tour was the main reason behind this diary; but things don’t always go to plan. Brian ended up playing only a few minutes against the All Blacks, leaving injured after a dangerous tackle dislocated his shoulder, but then again, that incident created more than enough controversy to sell a few copies.

The book is written in diary format, which actually works quite well because we get O’Driscoll’s actual reaction to events, rather than his thoughts on things well after the event. But the writing itself isn’t very good, more blog than book, again though, that probably fits, as it makes the events more immediate.

I’m guessing that only rugby fans would be interested in this book, and I’d recommend it to them, O’Driscoll comes across quite well I thought. Some nice touches that get across the fact that he is fairly down to earth and not obsessed with himself, although the hair does get mentioned on one or two occasions.

As for the spear tackle incident, well of course that is covered, and because of the way the book is written we get to read O’Driscoll’s thoughts directly afterwards. He used a dictaphone as he couldn’t write, as well as his feelings a few days after when he had thought things through.

I’ve always thought that he comes across as a little bit smug on the telly, albeit in those 2 and 3 minute segments, but that is more the fact that he always has that little grin on his face, but he had never seemed to take the media side of his life too seriously, which is only right.

You can’t take any of the celebrity stuff too seriously. A couple of years back I was ‘voted’ sexiest male in Ireland, which caused a bit of a fuss. C’mon, guys, get real, it was just a bit of a laugh. Mum loves me and my sisters will stick up for me but that is a complete joke… I was absolutely delighted when I unexpectedly plunged out of the top fifty last year, a washed-up former sex symbol whose time has been and gone.

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