O’Driscoll marks Dublin farewell with classy display

British & Irish Lions legend Brian O'Driscoll waved an emotional farewell to Dublin, signing off with a man-of-the-match performance in his final home international for Ireland. [more]

O’Driscoll marks Dublin farewell with classy display

British & Irish Lions legend Brian O’Driscoll waved an emotional farewell to Dublin, signing off with a man-of-the-match performance in his final home international for Ireland.

O’Driscoll, who has toured with the Lions on four occasions, starred as Ireland beat Italy 46-7 – the 35-year-old having a hand in three of their seven tries at the Aviva Stadium.

It was also a record-setting appearance for the outside centre, who surpassed former Australia scrum-half George Gregan’s 139 Test caps – eight of which have come in Lions red for O’Driscoll.

But given all of this O’Driscoll admitted the emotions of waving goodbye to the Dublin crowds will take some time to set in.

"It's been a huge part of my whole adult life and to leave here it's going to be hard,” he said. “But it was a good way to leave it and hopefully we set ourselves up for next week.

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"I've loved my time playing in this jersey. It had to come to an end at some stage and I'm glad I'm able to go out at home with a big win. It will only properly set in when I've had a bit of time."

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was full of praise for O’Driscoll after the final whistle, following a performance that demonstrated his enduring quality.

"I think it was an incredibly special day, he made it special because he had a hand in three tries," said Schmidt.

"His ability to get into space, and get the right pass away at the right time, even if he creates a pass that's probably not out of the textbook.

"He's an incredibly creative man, he's courageous and he's got a bit of class about him.”

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