Ireland No.8 Jamie Heaslip admits Brian O'Driscoll will be sorely miss during the Six Nations but has backed his Leinster club mates to fill the void.
O'Driscoll, the leading try-scorer in the championship, has been ruled out of Ireland's attempt to claim the title for the first time since 2009 after undergoing shoulder surgery after the World Cup.
The absence of the 32-year-old centre has been cushioned at Leinster by the form of Eoin O'Malley, Fergus McFadden and versatile back Luke Fitzgerald.
And after seeing the province storm to the top of the Pro 12 table in the absence of their talisman, Heaslip is backing Ireland to cope equally well.
"We're obviously missing a big guy, we're missing our skipper and massive leader and a massive talent on the pitch as well," he told Sportsbeat.
"He's laughing and joking and saying is there a spot for him in the changing-room anymore and stuff like that when we see him about.
"He'll be a big loss but it's an opportunity for other people and guys at Leinster anyway - you've had Eoin O'Malley, Fergus McFadden, I think Lukey (Fitzgerald) had a go at outside centre as well, you've had a couple of other guys there as well and they've all done a fantastic job.
"It's good to see Brian around, he's helping out people like Brendan Macken as well. He's been in the video room helping those guys out, imparting the plethora of wisdom Brian has."
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The Barbarians are one of the top invitational rugby sides with a long history and classic rugby jersey.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Lions get ready for their matches with this green training jersey. It's what the players wear. Get in the Gear!
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The Lions are ready to get their Australia tour underway. They arrive in Perth on Monday.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.