O'Driscoll revels in father figure role
Ireland field their youngest Six Nations backline (average age 24.4) against Scotland in Edinburgh tomorrow since some chap called Brian O’Driscoll scored a hat-trick in that famous 27-25 win over France in Paris 13 years ago.
Now 34, arguably Ireland’s greatest rugby player will gain his 123rd international cap for his country. And playing inside him at Murrayfield will be a couple of uncapped 21-year-old Ulster tyros, Paddy Jackson and Luke Marshall, who were nine years of age when O’Driscoll made his big breakthrough in Paris.
And if O’Driscoll feels akin to a childminder tomorrow, then it will be in keeping with his new life of the last fortnight. And at least his mind ought not to be as cluttered as it was two weeks ago when his wife Amy gave birth to their first child, Sadie, on the morning of his 122nd international; the 12-6 defeat to England at the Aviva stadium.
“It was a bit of a hurry to the hospital, our baby was delivered, hurried back, got my pre-match meal into me, and . . . went to the game.
“Yeah, emotions were definitely different than they would have been on your average Test afternoon. The strange situation I found myself in after defeat to England, usually you would be absolutely devastated, my emotions were slightly different . . . I just wanted to get back to the hospital to see my wife and daughter.”
Fatherhood “has been absolutely great”.