Sport Rugby

Monday 21 May 2018

O'Driscoll is star of his generation – Hastings

Conor George

Conor George

Legendary Scottish full-back Gavin Hastings has described Brian O'Driscoll as a once-in-a-lifetime star.

Hastings was unstinting in his praise of O'Driscoll and also lavished compliments on Paul O'Connell on the eve of the Lions match against Australia.

"Brian O'Driscoll, for example, only needs to have two more world-class displays in him and he can retire a god," said Hastings.

O'Driscoll becomes the oldest Irish player to ever play in a Lions Test today and is only the second Lion to play in Test matches on more than three tours. Willie John McBride played Test matches in each of his five tours, while Mike Gibson played in three of his four series. Hastings is a confirmed fan of the Irish veteran.

"He's had an incredible career, but a Lions series win eludes him," said Hastings. "It's extraordinary that he's been playing for 12 years or so now at the very top and he's still one of the finest centres in world rugby.

"He has been an incredible ambassador for the game. It's almost inconceivable that a guy can play Test matches for the Lions 12 years apart and still be regarded as one of the best players in the world.

"He's a once in a generation player. There is no added pressure on him because it's been 16 years since a Lions series win.

"People like Brian and Paul O'Connell will want to win this for themselves.

"The Lions will want to win this for themselves. It's a fact that it's been 16 years, but it won't affect the players I am sure," Hastings added.

Irish Independent

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