ONE of rugby union's all-time greats will enthral guests at a prestigious York lunch later this year.
Brian O'Driscoll will speak at the York Sportsman's Lunch at York Racecourse on November 6 as organisers look to celebrate the tenth year of the event in grand fashion.
The British & Irish Lions legend, who won 133 caps for Ireland in a glorious career, hung up his boots at the end of last season after a near 20-year playing career.
A member of the Irish side which won the Grand Slam in 2009, O'Driscoll has scored the most tries of any player in the 6 Nations and also won three European Cups during his club career with Leinster.
He was controversially left out of the Lions third test side which won its first series since 1997 when triumphing over Australia 12 months ago but is known for redefining the position of centre.
O'Driscoll joins esteemed company at the York lunch, following in previous years the likes of England legends Martin Johnson and Lawrence Dallaglio, South African World Cup-winning captain legend Francois Pienaar and Australian try-scoring machine David Campese in addressing the hugely popular event in the Voltigeur Suite.
Organised by Sporting Connexions, it has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes, including the Sports Development Foundation, which helps young people achieve their full potential by getting them involved in sport.
Lunch joint-organiser Mark Pepper, of Sporting Connexions, said he was thrilled that O'Driscoll would become the latest rugby legend to speak at the event.
"It is our tenth year - a great milestone - and for Brian O'Driscoll to consider us just two or three months after his retirement is a great honour," he said. "To be able to bring an iconic player, who straddles a number of age groups, is particularly exciting.
"It is a little bit of showbusiness coming to York.
"We have a number of patrons who have taken tables for the last ten years, I think they are going to be very popular hosts, and we are also indebted to Grantside, who have been particularly loyal and supported us for ten years with their sponsorship.
"We are very much looking forward to the day."
There is extremely limited availability for the event, which costs £1,000, plus VAT, for a table of ten. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01904 562562.