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Ireland’s all-time record try scorer and cap holder with 46 tries in 133 test appearances from 1999-2014.
Brian O’Driscoll made his Ireland debut in 1999, but it was a sensational hat-trick in a famous Irish win over France in Paris the following year that really made the rugby world sit up and take notice.
Forging an outstanding midfield partnership with Gordon D’Arcy, O’Driscoll had the lot as a centre – power, pace and footwork in attack and the ability to win turnovers in defence with his strong presence over the ball.
The Dublin native and loyal Leinster man also won eight caps for the Lions over a career that spanned four tours, scoring a breathtaking try on debut against Australia at Brisbane in 2001. He captained the side four years later before injury curtailed his involvement.
In 2009, O’Driscoll, a three-time IRB Player of the Year nominee, led Ireland to their first Grand Slam in 61 years.
Rugby gave me a confidence. I was quite shy and relatively timid, but it gave me the confidence to be a little bit more out-going and back myself a bit more.