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Brian O’Driscoll scores a try in the Six Nations Championship game between Ireland and France on February 7th, 2009. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Brian O’Driscoll scores a try in the Six Nations Championship game between Ireland and France on February 7th, 2009. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Brian O’Driscoll had barely turned 20 when he announced himself to the world in his rookie season with that hat-trick in Paris. He was only 21 when he confirmed his status as a global star with that virtuoso solo try for the Lions at the Gabba in Brisbane. Cue the Lions’ fans serenading him with their Waltzing O’Driscoll ditty.

At the time, his star shone brighter than any other player on the rugby stage.

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