All-time great edges closer to world record Test caps for his country.
Ireland great Brian O’Driscoll is set to equal George Gregan’s world record for the most Test appearances when he runs out against England in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday.
The midfield maestro in his final season before retirement, has overcome a stomach bug and is now on course to tie former Australia scrum-half Gregan’s world record of 139 caps.
All of Gregan’s Test career was spent representing the Wallabies, whereas the record of O’Driscoll, on the brink of playing his 131st Test for Ireland, also includes eight appearances for the combined British and Irish Lions.
Fitness permitting, the 35-year-old O’Driscoll should break Gregan’s mark before the end of the Six Nations, with Ireland concluding the tournament against Italy and France following this weekend’s visit to London.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt named an unchanged starting side on Thursday as the Six Nations leaders look to continue their quest to see centre star O’Driscoll off with a Grand Slam following Dublin drubbings of Scotland (28-6) and defending champions Wales (26-3).
However, the New Zealander did change his bench with Iain Henderson in for the injured Dan Tuohy and Jordi Murphy providing back-row cover in a match where Ireland will try to end a run of three straight defeats by England.
Ireland team announced Thursday to play England in a Six Nations international at Twickenham on Saturday (1600GMT kick-off):
Rob Kearney; Andrew Trimble, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, David Kearney; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Jamie Heaslip, Chris Henry, Peter O’Mahony; Paul O’Connell (capt), Devin Toner; Mike Ross, Rory Best, Cian Healy
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy, Isaac Boss, Paddy Jackson, Fergus McFadden