Brian O'Driscoll was a 21-year-old with lots of potential and he lived up to that billing on this day in rugby history in 2000 when he led Ireland to a 27-25 win over France at the Stade de France.
O'Driscoll was fabulous in the match scoring three tries and single handily willing Ireland to a rare win in Paris. In the last 60 years Ireland only have 2 wins on French soil.
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"In an age of played-for midfield collisions and narrow-eyed and relentlessly grinding body charges by over-muscled half-robots, O'Driscoll shines out like the full-beam Fastnet light does off the Cork coast," journalist Frank Keating wrote.
David Humphrey’s put the final touch on the game with a late penalty that gave the visitors the edge.
"I don't normally single out players," grinned veteran Mick Galwey, "but today was different. Brian was magnificent, out of this world. He was the difference between the two teams. Three tries in Paris is a mind-boggling achievement. I've only known the lad a few weeks, but I already recognise he is a very special talent. He is a world beater."
When the match was over, O’Driscoll was carried off on the shoulders of his teammates.
France: N'Tamack, Bernat-Salles, Desbrosse, Glas, Bory, Merceron, Laussucq, Califano, Dal Maso, Tournaire, Pelous, Brouzet, Costes, Benazzi, T. Lievremont. Replacements: Ibanez, De Villiers, Belot, Mallier, Hueber, Penaud, Venditti.
Ireland: Dempsey, Maggs, O'Driscoll, Henderson, Hickie, O'Gara, Stringer, Clohessy, Wood, Hayes, Galwey, O'Kelly, S. Easterby, Dawson, Foley. Replacements: Sheahan, Fitzpatrick, Johns, Brennan, Humphreys, G. Easterby, Mullins.
Referee: Paul Honnis (New Zealand)