Ahead of his final Test for his country, we look back on some of the tries that defined BOD.
Ireland great Brian O’Driscoll will have one last chance to add to his tally of 47 Test tries when he makes his final international appearance before retirement against Six Nations title rivals France in Paris on Saturday.
Below fanatix recalls some of his most memorable international tries:
Mar 19, 2000: The Paris hat-trick
It is apt O’Driscoll is finishing his Test career in the French capital as it was there that he made his name as an international player more than a decade ago.
Ireland travelled to the Stade de France for the fourth round of the inaugural Six Nations in 2000, seeking their first win over France in 17 years and their first in Paris since 1972.
But the 21-year-old O’Driscoll bolstered their belief in the 23rd minute when Malcolm O’Kelly sent him racing in between the posts.
After France recovered to lead by 12 points, O’Driscoll bagged his second try after fine work by fellow centre Rob Henderson.
O’Driscoll then saved his best for last when, six minutes from time, the ball went loose after Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer was flattened by giant France flanker Abdelatif Benazzi 25 metres out, and the floppy-haired young midfielder picked up the ball one-handed to spring through a gap on the left without being touched by a French defender. David Humphreys converted and added a late penalty to seal a 27-25 victory that signalled O’Driscoll’s arrival on the Test scene.
Jun 30, 2001: Pride of Lions
Arguably O’Driscoll’s best day for the British and Irish Lions came in his first Test outing for the combined side, when he scored one of their four tries in a 29-13 win over then world champions Australia in Brisbane.
Early in the second half, a superb burst of acceleration saw O’Driscoll beat opposing centre Nathan Grey before a devastating step left replacement full-back Matt Burke grasping at thin air as the centre completed a stunning try.
But Australia recovered to win the series 2-1.
Mar 21, 2009: Grand day in Cardiff
Ireland turned round 6-0 down in their Grand Slam decider but soon afterwards it was O’Driscoll who got them back into the match when, after several pick and goes by the forwards, he succeeded where the bigger men had failed by somehow just forcing his way over for a try.
It may not have been his most spectacular score but it was one of his most important and typical of many of the tries he scored in the latter half of his Test career, where enduring physical power became a defining characteristic rather than sheer speed.
Ireland wing Tommy Bowe added a second try minutes later and although Stephen Jones, who kicked all of the hosts’ points, nudged Wales into a 15-14 lead late on, opposing fly-half Ronan O’Gara’s drop-goal three minutes from time sealed a 17-15 victory and only Ireland’s second Grand Slam since their first clean sweep of Europe’s finest back in 1948.
Most-capped rugby union internationals prior to Brian O’Driscoll’s final Test appearance for Ireland against France in the Six Nations at the Stade de France on Saturday:
140 – Brian O’Driscoll (IRL/Lions) 1999-
139 – George Gregan (AUS) 1994-2007
130 – Ronan O’Gara (IRL/Lions) 2000-2013
124 – Richie McCaw (NZL) 2001-
119 – Jason Leonard (ENG/Lions) 1990-2004
118 – Fabien Pelous (FRA) 1995-2007
116 – Nathan Sharpe (AUS) 2002-2012
111 – Philippe Sella (FRA) 1982-1995
111 – John Smit (RSA) 2000-2011
111 – George Smith (AUS) 2000-2013
Note: O’Driscoll has eight caps for the British and Irish Lions.
O’Gara has two caps for the Lions.
Leonard has five caps for the Lions.