Friday, March 12, 2010
Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll will tomorrow reach the milestone of having played 100 Tests for his country when his team hosts Wales in the Six Nations match at Croke Park. He is only the Irish second player to reach a century of Test appearances, following on from prop John Hayes.
ODriscoll has played in three World Cups, three Lions tours, and experienced wins in both the Heineken Cup and Six Nations. Hes still only 31, but has already captained his country 63 times. He becomes only the 13th player to reach one hundred Test matches.
Making his debut against Australia as a 20 year old in 1999, ODriscolls coach on that day was none other than current Welsh coach Warren Gatland. Hes said it was an honour for him to have been involved with the man they call BOD back then.
"And during the Lions tour I could see just how much he had developed as a player and a leader, how much he understands the game and the impact he has on other players, Gatland said.
"I think he has a few more years left. Ireland have looked after him, they have not overplayed him. He is important to them as an individual and captain as they work towards the World Cup," he added.
Welsh captain Martyn Williams has called him the best player in the northern hemisphere for the last decade, while teammate Geordan Murphy has said that every team in the world respects ODriscoll, which frees up space for the players around him.
He's a good guy with it, as well. It's unbelievable that he has such stature in world rugby at a relatively young age," Murphy said.
ODriscoll himself has played down the milestone, calling it just another week in rugby.
"Sure it's nice getting a lot of text messages coming in from past players and coaches. It's lovely from that point of view.
"But I don't see any reason to get caught up in the hype of it all. Someone said to me '101 Test matches is more impressive than a hundred'. So maybe John Hayes should be the one that's up here," he said at the press conference earlier in the week.
"I didn't set a target in 1999 that I wanted to achieve 100 Test matches. A few years ago I thought it would be really nice to make a hundred. But I haven't gone 'I want to achieve 120', I'm just going game by game and really enjoying it still."
A captain who leads by example, ODriscoll has been a huge factor in Irelands success of late, and if all goes to plan, hell be there leading his side in New Zealand in 2011.
This clip was requested and is a basically just a short summary of O'Driscoll's great career so far.
Note: Thanks to the BBC