Saturday 27 December 2014

Brian O'Driscoll: I've loved my time in the green jersey

Published 08/03/2014 | 16:55

Brian O'Driscoll bade an emotional but victorious farewell to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday afternoon as Ireland kept their RBS 6 Nations title hopes alive with a crushing 46-7 win over Italy.

The 35-year-old marked his world-record 140th Test cap by deftly setting up tries for Johnny Sexton and Andrew Trimble, teeing up the Irish for a title-decider in France next weekend.

Cian Healy, Sexton, Sean Cronin, Fergus McFadden and Jack McGrath scored further tries in a one-sided contest, but the occasion was all about O'Driscoll, who was substituted after 61 minutes to a rousing standing ovation.

And the centre fought back the tears as he admitted he was still getting used to the prospect of retirement.

"I haven't let myself think about. It's emotional," O'Driscoll said on BBC1.

"It's been a huge part of my whole adult life and to leave here it's going to be hard. But good way to leave it today and hopefully we set ourselves up for next week.

Brian O'Driscoll, Brian O'Meara and Victor Costello celebrate Leinster's victory over Munster in the 2001 Celtic League final
Brian O'Driscoll in action for Blackrock College in 1997
Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland is tackled by Daniel Herbert, Australia, Australia v Ireland, Subiaco Oval, Perth in 1999 in one of his first caps
Brian O'Driscoll on his way to scoring his first ever try for Ireland against the USA in the 1999 Rugby World Cup
Brian O'Driscoll scores his first Six Nations try against Scotland in 2000 at Landsdowne Road
Brian O'Driscoll celebrates one of his three tries against France in 2000.
19 March 2000; Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll leaves french full back Emile Ntamack behind to score his third try
Brian O'Driscoll celebrates victory over France in the 2000 Six Nations
Brian O'Driscoll in action against the Springboks in 2000
Brian O'Driscoll makes his Barbarians debut in 2000
Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Henderson and Keith Wood joke around during the 2001 Lions tour
British and Irish Lions player Brian O'Driscoll breaks away to score the third try against Australia during the First Test match at The Gabba, Brisbane, 30th June 2001.
Brian O'Driscoll on his way to scoring his famous try against Australia in the First Test of the 2001 Lions Series.
Brian O'Driscoll tries to get out of a ruck in a game against Australia in 2002
Brian O'Driscoll, Shane Horgan and Denis Hickie celebrate victory over Australia in 2002
Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland, kicks a drop goal in the narrow defeat to Australia at the 2003 Rugby World Cup
Brian O'Driscoll dives over in the corner for a try against Australia in the 2003 Rugby World Cup
Brian O'Driscoll celebrates after Ireland's victory over England in Twickenham in 2004
Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll celebrates with coach Eddie O'Sullivan at the end of the game versus Scotland in Lansdowne Road in 2004 after winning the Triple Crown
Brian O'Driscoll is forced to leave the field after being the victim of a spear tackle that ended his Lions Tour in 2005
BOD holds the Triple Crown trophy aloft after victory over England at Twickenham
Ireland's captain Brian O'Driscoll holds aloft the Triple Crown following the match against England at Twickenham, March 18, 2006.
Brian O'Driscoll dots down against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in 2007
Brian O'Driscoll dives over to score Ireland's first try during the final Pool D match at Parc des Princes in Paris during the 2007 Rugby World Cup
Brian O'Driscoll scores a brilliantly improvised try for Leinster against Wasps in the Pool Stages of the 2008/09 Heineken Cup
Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll tackles Munster's Paul O'Connell during the 2009 Heineken Cup semi-final in Croke Park.
Brian O'Driscoll races clear of Munster’s Ronan O’Gara, whose pass he intercepted, on his way to scoring his side’s third try in Leinster's Heineken Cup semi-final win at Croke Park in 2009
Rocky Elsom with team-mate Brian O'Driscoll in 2009 after Leinster's first Heineken Cup success
Brian O'Driscoll, Rocky Elsom, Felipe Contepomi and Gordon D'Arcy celebrate after Leinster's Heineken Cup victory in 2009
Brian O'Driscoll (centre) of Leinster raises the Heineken Cup after winning the Heineken Cup Final between Leicester Tigers and Leinster at Murrayfield on May 23, 2009
Brian with the Six Nations and Triple Crown trophies following Ireland's success in 2009
Brian O’Driscoll captained Ireland to first Grand Slam in 61 years
Brian O'Driscoll in action for the British and Irish Lions in 2009. Photo: Getty Images
Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman tied the knot in July 2010.
Shane Horgan lifting the Heineken Cup with Brian O’Driscoll in 2011. Sportsfile
Shane Horgan celebrates winning the 2011 Heineken Cup with team-mate and friend Brian O'Driscoll
Joe Schmidt with Brian O’Driscoll after the 2011 Heineken Cup final victory.
Brian O'Driscoll trudges off the pitch following Ireland's defeat to Wales in the Rugby World Cup Quarter final in 2011
Gordon D'Arcy, left, and Brian O'Driscoll, Leinster celebrate Leinster's victory in the Heineken Cup in 2011
19 May 2012; Brian O'Driscoll, Leinster, celebrates after the game. Heineken Cup Final, Leinster v Ulster, Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, England. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll celebrates after victory over Ulster. Heineken Cup Final, Leinster v Ulster, Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, England. Photo: Sportsfile
Brian O'Driscoll shows his delight at winning the Lions Test series in Australia last year despite being omitted from the final test.
Brian O'Driscoll and his daughter Sadie following the British & Irish Lions victory last year
Brian O'Driscoll throws his boots into the crowd as he celebrates Leinster's win in the Rabodirect Pro12 Grand final last year at the RDS
Brian O'Driscoll on his great partnership with D'Arcy
Brian O'Driscoll sits in the sin bin during Ireland's Six Nations defeat to Italy last year
Brian O'Driscoll: Ireland's most capped centre has suffered multiple high-profile head injuries down the years, most notably during a game against England in 2009
Brian O'Driscoll and his father Frank. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Brian O'Driscoll reacts to the final minute try that helped New Zealand to a 24-22 win at the Aviva last November. BOD never tasted victory over the All Blacks.
Brian O'Driscoll is given a guard of honour at his final captain's run at the Aviva
Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland, celebrates with team-mate Andrew Trimble, Rob Kearney and Dave Kearney at the final whistle.
Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll celebrates Photo: Gerry Mooney
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton, left, and Brian O'Driscoll celebrates with the trophy following their side's victory
Brian O'Driscoll of Leinster, looks on during the Heineken Cup quarter final match between Toulon and Leinster in April
Brian O'Driscoll and Eoin Reddan leave the pitch in dejection after Leinster were crushed by Toulon in the Heineken Cup quarter-final

"I feel humbled by the reaction today. It seems a bit of of a joke that you get get man of the match for 60 minutes, but I've loved my time playing in this jersey. It had to come to an end at some stage and I'm glad I'm able to go out at home with a big win.

"It will only properly set in when I've had a bit of time."

Brian O'Driscoll helped Ireland secure a convincing win over Italy
Brian O'Driscoll helped Ireland secure a convincing win over Italy
8 March 2014; Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll, with his daughter Sadie, leave the pitch after the game. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll watches the game from his seat after being substituted, with Jonathan Sexton and team masseur Willie Bennett, right. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland, greets former Ireland player Ronan O'Gara after being substituted during the second half. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Amy Huberman, Brian O'Driscoll's wife, with their child Sadie Huberman O'Driscoll before the game. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Amy Huberman, Brian O'Driscoll's wife, with their baby Sadie before the game. Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Amy Huberman, Brian O'Driscoll's wife, with their baby Sadie before the game. Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Amy Huberman, Brian O'Driscoll's wife, waves to him just before the game. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland, in action during the game. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Brian O'Driscoll arrives at the Aviva today
Leonardo Sarto of Italy celebrates after scoring his team's first try of the game during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Jonathan Sexton, Ireland, on the way scoring his side's first try
Ireland's Andrew Trimble and Italy's Quentin Geldenhuys during the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland passes ahead of Gonzalo Garcia of Italy during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy at Aviva Stadium
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland in action during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland waves farewell to the fans after his last home appearance the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland is applauded off the field by his team mates after his last home appearance the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland breaks away during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Gordon D'Arcy of Ireland is tackled by Michele Campagnaro of Italy during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland in action during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Irelands Jamie Heaslip and Sean Cronin celebrate his try during the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Sean Cronin scores a try during the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton scores a try during the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Andrew Trimble scores his side's second try despite the attentions of Italy's Tito Tebaldi and Joshua Furno (right) during the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll carries his daughter Sadie on the pitch after his final home international at the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll carries his daughter Sadie from the pitch as his team-mates form a guard of honor after his final home international at the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll with wife Amy Huberman and daughter Sadie after his final home international at the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll carries his daughter Sadie on the pitch after his final home international at the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll kisses his wife Amy Huberman as she holds daughter Sadie after his final home international at the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Man of the match Brian O'Driscoll leaves the pitch with his daughter Sadie during his last home game during the RBS Six Nations match with Italy at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll carries his daughter Sadie on the pitch after his final home international at the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll carries his daughter Sadie at the end of the Six Nations rugby union match against Italy at Aviva stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll heads down the tunnel after his final home international at the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll carries his daughter Sadie at the end of the Six Nations rugby union match against Italy
Irelands Jamie Heaslip and Sean Cronin celebrate his try during the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll is embraced by his mother Geraldine along with his wife Amy Huberman (left) holding their daughter Sadie after his final home international at the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll applauds a late Ireland try during the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll after he left the field during the RBS Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium
Man of the match Brian O'Driscoll leaves the pitch during his last home game during the RBS Six Nations match with Italy at the Aviva Stadium
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll leaves the field after beating Italy in the Six Nations rugby union match at Aviva stadium in Dublin
Ireland's Sean Cronin (bottom right) scores a try against Italy
Amy Huberman, Brian O'Driscoll's wife, with their baby Sadie Huberman O'Driscoll before the game
Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland, offloads the ball to Jonathan Sexton leading to his side's fourth try
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll with his mother Geraldine after the game.
Brian O'Driscoll's wife Amy Huberman, with daughter Sadie,look on after the game.
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll with teammate Gordon D'Arcy after the game.
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll with teammate Jonathan Sexton after the game.
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll salutes the fans after the game.
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll looks emotional after the game.
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll after the game.
Ireland's Jack McGrath, left, is congratulated by team-mates Paddy Jackson, right, and Eoin Reddan after scoring his side's final try
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll sings the National Anthem with team mascots, Oran Richardson, age 7, from Malahide, Dublin, left, and Katie Kennedy, age 7, from Terenure, ahead of the game.
Leonardo Sarto of Italy runs in his team's first try of the game during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland is tackled by Luciano Orquera of Italy during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland breaks away during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland in action during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Cian Healy of Ireland scores a try during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland is applauded off the field by his team mates after his last home appearance
Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland is replaced by Fergus McFadden in the second half
Paul O'Connell, Brian O'Driscoll and Mike Ross of Ireland sing the National Anthem

O'Driscoll is now hoping to end his Ireland career by lifting the Six Nations trophy in Paris next Saturday.

He said: "Hopefully next week there's a performance and a championship in this team. We have to go to France with huge positivity.

"It's one thing playing in this jersey but it's another thing altogether winning in this jersey, and we've built a good standard. We're capable of doing great things and we have to start next week by trying to win a second championship as this unit of players."

Promoted articles

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport