The centre was in fine form as Ireland kicked off their Six Nations assault with a 30-22 victory in Wales, O’Driscoll scoring a try and superbly assisting another for Simon Zebo.
It was a typically marauding performance from the 34-year-old with just one difference as he was not in his usual role of captain – that responsibility landing at the feet of Jamie Heaslip following O’Driscoll’s sitting out the 2012 Six Nations and autumn internationals with injury.
But despite not walking the team out O’Driscoll admits that it won’t stop him leading by example on the pitch for the rest of the tournament.
“It was real Six Nations stuff, which you expect when you come to Cardiff,” he said.
“The captaincy doesn’t make any difference – I still see myself as a leader in the team and helping Jamie out where I can.
“You don’t play any differently if you’re captain. You always try to lead by the way you play.”
Meanwhile, Ireland will delay naming their team to face England until Friday in an attempt to give some of their walking wounded a chance to recover.
Keith Earls will see a specialist after picking up a late shoulder injury in the victory over Wales while captain Heaslip suffered a cut to his leg.
Full-back Rob Kearney reported stiffness in his back after the game and underwent a precautionary scan, which reported no injury and he will be available for training.
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