Six Nations 2014: Ireland legend Brian O’Driscoll delighted to bow out on top
Six Nations 2014: Legend Brian O'Driscoll expresses his delight after signing off Ireland career with a second title
Brian O’Driscoll struggled to hold back the tears after he signed off his Ireland career with a second Six Nations title on Saturday.
The centre won a world record 141st international cap in Paris and was part of a magnificent second-half defensive effort that saw Joe Schmidt’s side hold off France and claim a 22-20 victory.
Ireland came into the clash knowing that a victory by any margin would be enough to seal the title and with Jonathan Sexton crossing for two tries, either side of an Andrew Trimble score, the men in green should have been home and dry.
When I do hang this jersey up on the hook inside it will be with fond memories
But Brice Dulin’s first-half score was supplemented by a Dimitri Szarzewski effort on the hour mark and it looked like Les Bleus might spoil O’Driscoll’s party late on when Damien Chouly went over for a what looked like a try.
But the TMO ruled that the final pass from Pascal Pape was forward and Ireland held out to seal the trophy and leave O’Driscoll fighting to keep his emotions in check.
“The emotions are starting to kick in now,” O’Driscoll said.
“It feels great to be a two-time Six Nations winner. So many second (-place finishes) along the years and so many disappointments, it is great to finish my career on a high.
“When I do hang this jersey up on the hook inside it will be with fond memories.
“It was last leg stuff and I now know why I’m packing it in, particularly with guys like Mathieu Bastareaud running at you. 80 minutes is a bloody long time for international rugby.
“I am absolutely delighted. There is a huge Irish contingent here and I am glad we gave them something to shout about.”
O’Driscoll took to Twitter later on Saturday night as he hung up his Irish shirt for the final time in Stade de France.
Phew! Worked out ok! Thanks for all the messages of support. Unreal feeling. Not easy taking this off for last time pic.twitter.com/Sq89BdLOnw
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) March 15, 2014