Sport Six Nations

Saturday 30 August 2014

Ronan O’Gara: O'Driscoll has great days ahead of him

Published 08/03/2014 | 06:25

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Ronan O’Gara has hailed his former teammate Brian O’Driscoll as a “special player” ahead of his final appearance in Dublin and said great days are in store for the Irish legend.

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The Leinster centre will don the Irish number 13 jersey for the final time at the Aviva against the Italians in what will be a world record 140th international appearance.

Racing Metro coach O’Gara soldiered with O’Driscoll from his debut in 2000 until his retirement last year and in the pantheon of Irish rugby players, the Cork man believes that O’Driscoll is at the top of the pile.

“He has been Ireland’s best player and can be so proud of what he has achieved,” the former Munster outhalf said.

He also says that no matter what O’Driscoll says now, the daywill probably have more of an effect on him that he realises.

“These things can do strange things to you.”

“Now that he is a dad too he will probably appreciate it more, but I think you can put rugby into perspective.”

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 and Eoin Reddan  leave the pitch in dejection after Leinster were crushed by Toulon in the Heineken Cup quarter-final
Brian O'Driscoll and Eoin Reddan leave the pitch in dejection after Leinster were crushed by Toulon in the Heineken Cup quarter-final

“It is the end of one chapter, but the beginning of another. He has some great days ahead of him.”

O’Gara also suggested that the dressing room environment will be the thing O’Driscoll will miss more than anything else.

“The big thing I miss is the team environment and camaraderie.”

“It’s a little more difficult when you are outside the inner circle, you just have to make more of an effort.”

Declan Whooley

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