Published 01/05/2015 | 00:00
THIS is Paul O'Connell's second coming. He will go to the World Cup later this year on the back of outstanding seasons for Munster and Ireland.
The injuries which had plagued him have been overcome and his performances as Ireland retained the Six Nations championship this year weren't so much the Paul O'Connell of old, but a newer, more improved, more dynamic version.
Like other rugby players who have enjoyed longer careers than might have been thought possible given the attritional nature of the modern game, O'Connell's determination to look after his body has stood to him.
He will turn 36 during the World Cup, and yet there has been talk of two more years.
And like O'Driscoll, one of Ireland's great forwards will one day retire with a trophy haul which marks him out as one of the greats of modern Irish sport.