Brian O’Driscoll made an emotional farewell to the Aviva Stadium with a man of the match performance against Italy – now he wants to bow out for Ireland with the Six Nations Championship.
O’Driscoll was the star of the show as Ireland ran up a 46-7 win that keeps Joe Schmidt’s side top of the table going into the final round of matches.
Victory in Paris on Saturday should see the Irish lift the title with O’Driscoll determined to quit on a high 14 years after his hat-trick of tries inspired Ireland’s last win in France.
He told Irish state broadcaster RTE: “There’s a championship in this team, we need to go to France with huge positivity and try and relive what happened back in 2000.
“It’s one thing playing in this jersey but it’s another thing altogether winning in this jersey. We’ve build a big standard with this crop of players, capable of doing big things and we have to start that next week and win ourselves a second championship.
“Hopefully next week there’s a performance and a championship in this team. We have to go to France with huge positivity.”
Feted before, during and after his final home appearance in the Irish shirt, O’Driscoll did struggle with his emotions on the day he set a new world appearance record with his 140th cap.
He added: “I haven’t really let myself think about the send-off, it’s emotional, you know.
“It’s been a huge part of my whole adult life and to leave here, it’s going to be hard, but it’s a good way to leave it and hopefully we set ourselves up for next week.
“I feel humbled by the reaction today. It seems a bit of a joke when you get man of the match for 60 minutes. I’ve loved my time playing in this jersey.
“It’s been a huge part of my whole adult life and to leave here it’s going to be hard. But good way to leave it today and hopefully we set ourselves up for next week.
“It will only properly set in when I’ve had a bit of time. Unfortunately, it does have to come to an end at some stage. I’m glad I’m able to go out at home with a big win.”