Four years ago the thought of Brian O'Driscoll retiring was worrying stuff for an Irishman as it would have left such a void. 2014 however and the strength in depth in Irish rugby looks very healthy. So today, in O'Driscoll's last international match in Dublin, it will be a celebration of his career and not the wake it might have been 4 years ago.
It's very apt that Iain Henderson makes his first RBS 6 Nations start. I think this guy is the future of Irish rugby and could be a genuine superstar. He's big, strong, very fast, great hands and has outstanding feet for someone so big. He rarely fails to get over the gain line and is brilliant at beating defenders with his quick feet. Last year he completely outplayed the much lauded English blindside Tom Wood in a Heineken cup game in Northampton. Quiet and unassuming he goes about his business without too much press.
Thanks for everything Brian and let's all keep our eyes on Iain. He is the future.
"He is a fantastic line-out option to have there and he might even finish the game in the second row, which would allow us to look at other options," said Schmidt. As expected, Brian O'Driscoll has fully recovered from a calf injury in time to earn a world-record 140th cap at the Aviva Stadium.