This weekend Ireland face Italy in a Six Nations match that they’d be expected to win. Most of the focus will be on Brian O’Driscoll either way, as he will claim the record for most Test caps ever, as well as play his final Test match in Dublin.
In Ireland’s last match O’Driscoll equalled the record set by Wallaby great George Gregan, so when facing Italy he is set to eclipse it, then play his final match for his country a week later.
Gregan, who played 139 Tests for his country, has said that the record couldn’t go to a better player. “He’s just a great player, he still wants to contribute to the teams that he plays with,” Gregan said. “So it’s well deserved, he’ll go past that and set a new record which is fantastic.”
“I got a nice tweet from George Gregan on equaling his record and people have been lovely over the last while. I just want to be able to go out on a high, that’s the big thing,” he said this week.
O’Driscoll then has a chance to finish on high, as a win in his final match – over France in Paris – could mean a Six Nations championship victory, adding to his long list of accolades.
“There is no individual feeling, there really isn’t, there’s always time to reflect afterwards and that’s the time to do it. The team has absolute priority and always has done, there will be no extra emphasis made by anyone this weekend other than giving us a final showdown against France.”
BOD’s record run at the top may be short-lived however, as there are a few others who might catch up, namely Richie McCaw, who has currently played 124 Tests for New Zealand.
“I’m sure in time it will be broken, yes, there’s always scope for guys to break records,” O’Driscoll said. “All going well, hopefully I’ll get the record this weekend I’m sure it will be broken another time. Lots of guys now are over the 100-cap mark and still playing, and still playing well.
“If guys look after themselves and maintain their fitness for 15 years I think you will see the 150-cap mark broken. I can’t see it being a bad thing, someone being consistently good, enough to stay in the competition environment, for 14 or 15 years. So I would definitely say I encourage it.”
credit: RTE Rugby