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Tuesday, 5 November, 2002, 11:57 GMT
O'Driscoll's rapid rise
Profile of new Ireland captain and BBC Sport Online columnist Brian O'Driscoll.

Brian O'Driscoll secured his place in Irish rugby history with a hat-trick of tries against France in the 2000 Six Nations.

Brian O'Driscoll
O'Driscoll will now call the shots on the pitch
A beautifully-balanced centre, he thrills fans with his lightning acceleration and ability to exploit a gap or create space for others.

Still only 23, he is definitely a captain who can be relied on to lead his country by example, with 16 tries in 31 appearances.

A product of Dublin's famous Blackrock School, O'Driscoll made his Ireland Under-21 debut in February 1999.

He had an immediate impact and found himself on the bench for the Six Nations game against Italy just two months later.

A first full cap followed during that summer's tour of Australia, followed by his first Test try, which came against the USA in the 1999 World Cup.

In his first full Six Nations campaign, O'Driscoll's breathtaking display in Paris confirmed his class, and he also notched tries against Scotland and Italy.

He went over for a crucial score against Les Bleus the following season at Lansdowne Road and was voted man of the match.

O'Driscoll was a key member of the Great Britain and Ireland squad that travelled to Australia in the summer of 2001.

He scored one of the four tries that secured a famous 29-13 win for the Lions in the first Test against the Wallabies in Brisbane.

That series ultimately ended in disappointment for the Lions, but O'Driscoll will get his chance for revenge both on Saturday and when Ireland meet Australia in next year's World Cup.

Whether he goes into the World Cup as Irish skipper depends on how he handles his new job, starting this weekend.


Ireland v Argentina

Ireland v Fiji

Ireland v Australia

Brian O'Driscoll

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05 Nov 02 | International
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