Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell have been crowned as Ireland’s greatest back and Ireland’s greatest forward of all-time, according to a survey released today by Ulster Bank.
The survey - which generated over 1,360 responses from fans across Ireland – revealed O'Driscoll as Ireland’s best back of all-time, with the Leinster player gaining 75% of the vote – fending off Irish rugby greats such as Ronan O’Gara (second place with 8%), Mike Gibson (third place with 4%) and Jack Kyle (fourth place with 2%).
2014 captain-fantastic, Paul O’Connell, was crowned Ireland’s best forward of all-time, with 45% of the vote. Fellow Munster-man and Irish rugby legend, Keith Wood, came in second place with 23% of the vote. O'Connell was also chosen ahead of Irish greats, such as Willie John McBride (15%), Fergus Slattery (3%) and Ciaran Fitzgerald (2%).
When asked about the RBS 6 Nations, 68% of those surveyed voted England as the team fans most enjoy seeing Ireland beat. France came in second place with 15%. A massive 75% of those surveyed also said they would cut a holiday short to watch Ireland play a Grand Slam decider at the Aviva Stadium.
Potentially the most important statistic to emerge from the survey – for those in the Ireland camp – came in the form of a vote for Ireland’s best-looking player. It was neck-and-neck at the beginning but, Rob Kearney shot ahead securing 34% of the vote (one in three), while Tommy Bowe stole the hearts of 17% of those surveyed.
Ulster Bank rugby ambassador, Alan Quinlan, said: "I am delighted for Brian and Paul. Both players have given their bodies and hearts to rugby from a young age and both can now go down in history as the all-time greats."