Six Nations

BOD set for record Test cap

2014-02-20 17:05
Brian O'Driscoll (Gallo Images)

London - Ireland great Brian O'Driscoll is set to equal George Gregan's world record for the most Test appearances when he runs out against England in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday.

The midfield maestro in his final season before retirement, has overcome a stomach bug and is now on course to tie former Australia scrum-half Gregan's world record of 139 caps.

All of Gregan's Test career was spent representing the Wallabies, whereas the record of O'Driscoll, on the brink of playing his 131st Test for Ireland, also includes eight appearances for the combined British and Irish Lions.

Fitness permitting, the 35-year-old O'Driscoll should break Gregan's mark before the end of the Six Nations, with Ireland concluding the tournament against Italy and France following this weekend's visit to London.

"Brian trained fully on Thursday, and in fact he could have trained on Tuesday, but he just was still feeling the after effects of an illness," said Ireland coach Joe Schmidt in a news conference broadcast on IrishRugbyTV after he announced an unchanged starting side Thursday.

"And with his experience and know-how he's in a good position to know what he needs, and he brought that to bear," the New Zealander added. "He's fully ready to go now though."

Schmidt stuck with the same 1st XV as the Six Nations leaders look to continue their quest to see centre star O'Driscoll off with a Grand Slam following Dublin drubbings of Scotland (28-6) and defending champions Wales (26-3).

However, he did change his bench with Iain Henderson in for the injured Dan Tuohy and Jordi Murphy providing back-row cover in a match where Ireland will try to end a run of three straight defeats by England.

"There have been some challenges that would stand out in my mind but none as tough as this," said Schmidt.

And Ireland captain Paul O'Connell said the team were braced for an increase in intensity following their one-sided wins over Scotland and Wales.

"The lads realise what a step up this is and there's a realistic view of where we need to be to win this match," he said.

"The confidence isn't sky-high, it's realistic," the Lions lock added.

"The last three times we've played England we've lost to them.

"The way we've been playing in recent times, particularly our last three games, we've been good.

"But in physicality, fitness and mental stakes the step up is huge.

"England have spoken a lot about making Twickenham a fortress, but we know that's exactly what it is."

Ireland team announced Thursday to play England in a Six Nations international at Twickenham on Saturday:

England:

15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Danny Care, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 David Wilson, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 George Ford, 23 Alex Goode

Ireland:

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 David Kearney, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (captain), 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy

Substitutes: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy, Isaac Boss, Paddy Jackson, Fergus McFadden

Read more on:    six nations  |  brian o'driscoll  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
06 February 2015
Wales v England, Cardiff 22:05
07 February 2015
Italy v Ireland, Rome 16:30
France v Scotland, Paris 19:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will win the 2014 Six Nations title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.