At the time he retired, Brian was the second most capped player in rugby, having played 141 Test matches – 133 for Ireland (83 as captain) and eight for the British and Irish Lions. He captained the Lions during their 2005 tour of New Zealand.
With 46 tries, when he retired, he was the highest try scorer at the time in Irish Rugby.
Brian also holds the Six Nations record for most tries scored with 26. He was chosen as Player of the Tournament in 2006, 2007 and 2009. In 2001, 2002 and 2009, O’Driscoll was nominated for the World Player of the Year Award.
Coming from a rugby family - his father and cousins played for Ireland – Brian initially played Gaelic Football as a youngster, but switched to rugby. After graduating from University College Dublin, his talent was already well known and surprisingly he made his international debut for Ireland before his club debut for Leinster in 1999.
Brian never left Leinster and during his 15-year career played 186 games for the club, winning three Heineken Cups.
In 2000, O’Driscoll made his mark on the international stage, scoring a hat-trick of tries in Six Nations victory over France – Ireland’s first win in Paris since 1972. This gave him cult status amongst the Irish fans and he was a popular choice when he took over the nation’s captaincy from the retiring Keith Wood.
He went on to lead Ireland in a successful period when they won the Six Nations twice in 2009 and 2014.
In January 2010, he was voted World Rugby Player of the Decade by the magazine Rugby World.