Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Ireland rugby doc gets United shirt before joining Arsenal

Ireland rugby team doctor Gary O'Driscoll was presented with a Manchester United jersey before he took up a new role -- with rivals Arsenal.

The tongue-in-cheek gift was handed to Dr O'Driscoll before Ireland's Six Nations win against Italy at the weekend.



The match was his last game as doctor to the Irish team before joining Premier League giants Arsenal.



An expert in sports injuries, he has taken on the challenging role of ensuring top athletes such as Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor receive the best treatment.



He will be under the watchful eye of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.



Dr O'Driscoll, who is thought to be a Red Devils fan, took up his new post with immediate effect following Sunday's game in which Ireland ran out 38-9 winners against Italy.



The performance of his cousin, Ireland team captain Brian O'Driscoll, shows just how good he is at his job.



O'Driscoll revealed his troublesome hamstring injuries are a thing of the past.



He scored a wonderful intercept try with four minutes to go in the game, helping Ireland to stay on track for a Grand Slam title.



"In the past, if I was faced with a 70-metre sprint for a try at the close of a very physical game, there could be trouble," O'Driscoll said to reporters.



"But I was able to go flat-out and didn't feel a thing. I'm thrilled," he said.



Dr O'Driscoll's first fixture as Arsenal team doctor was last night's FA Cup tie with Cardiff, while his first Premier League game will be a home match against Sunderland on Saturday.



While the Premier League is known for its physicality, Dr O'Driscoll is prepared.



One of his last jobs for Ireland was to stem the blood gushing from the face of Paddy Wallace. There were a number of other blood injuries which he had to contend with as the tough tackling Italians made their presence felt.

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