Brian O'Driscoll said it will be 'a huge honour' for him to captain Ireland for the 50th time on Saturday for the GUINNESS Series 2008 Test against New Zealand at Croke Park. We take a look back over his captaincy career to date.
Brian O'Driscoll has captained Ireland at Test level a record 49 times to date, since stepping in for Keith Wood in 2002 and 2003 and then taking over the captaincy full-time in early 2004.
He overtook Wood (36 Tests) in the Irish captaincies list when he led Ireland for the 37th time against Italy in Rome in March 2007.
The Leinster centre has skippered Ireland to 33 wins (a 67% success rate) between 2002 and 2008, including twelve victories in his first 13 games as captain.
Notably, Australia (two times), Argentina (two times), France (once), England (four times) and South Africa (two times) have all be defeated during O'Driscoll's reign.
The 29-year-old is currently Ireland's record try scorer (32 tries), with three touchdowns in his last 10 Test matches.
When O'Driscoll was either out injured or unavailable, Paul O'Connell, Simon Easterby, David Humphreys, Simon Best and Ronan O'Gara (most recently against England last March) have stood in as Ireland's captain.
BRIAN O'DRISCOLL - 49-MATCH RECORD AS IRELAND CAPTAIN:
November 9, 2002 - Autumn International - Ireland 18 Australia 9, Lansdowne Road November 17, 2002 - Autumn International - Ireland 64 Fiji 17, Lansdowne Road (1 try - 17th Test score) November 23, 2002 - Autumn International - Ireland 16 Argentina 7, Lansdowne Road February 16, 2003 - Six Nations - Scotland 6 Ireland 36, Murrayfield February 22, 2003 - Six Nations - Italy 13 Ireland 37, Stadio Flaminio (1 try - 18th) March 8, 2003 - Six Nations - Ireland 15 France 12, Lansdowne Road March 22, 2003 - Six Nations - Wales 24 Ireland 25, Millennium Stadium March 30, 2003 - Six Nations - Ireland 6 England 42, Lansdowne Road August 30, 2003 - World Cup Warm-Up - Ireland 61 Italy 6, Thomond Park February 22, 2004 - Six Nations - Ireland 36 Wales 15, Lansdowne Road (2 tries - 22nd and 23rd) March 6, 2004 - Six Nations - England 13 Ireland 19, Twickenham March 20, 2004 - Six Nations - Ireland 19 Italy 3, Lansdowne Road (1 try - 24th; yellow card) March 27, 2004 - Six Nations - Ireland 37 Scotland 16, Lansdowne Road June 12, 2004 - Summer Tour - South Africa 31 Ireland 17, Vodacom Park June 19, 2004 - Summer Tour - South Africa 26 Ireland 17, Newlands (1 try - 25th) November 13, 2004 - Autumn International - Ireland 17 South Africa 12, Lansdowne Road November 20, 2004 - Autumn International - Ireland 55 United States 6, Lansdowne Road November 27, 2004 - Autumn International - Ireland 21 Argentina 19, Lansdowne Road
February 6, 2005 - Six Nations - Italy 17 Ireland 28, Stadio Flaminio February 27, 2005 - Six Nations - Ireland 19 England 13, Lansdowne Road (1 try - 26th) March 12, 2005 - Six Nations - Ireland 19 France 26, Lansdowne Road (1 try - 27th) March 19, 2005 - Six Nations - Wales 32 Ireland 20, Millennium Stadium February 4, 2006 - Six Nations - Ireland 26 Italy 16, Lansdowne Road February 11, 2006 - Six Nations - France 43 Ireland 31, Stade de France February 26, 2006 - Six Nations - Ireland 31 Wales 5, Lansdowne Road March 11, 2006 - Six Nations - Ireland 15 Scotland 9, Lansdowne Road March 18, 2006 - Six Nations - England 24 Ireland 28, Twickenham June 10, 2006 - Summer Tour - New Zealand 34 Ireland 23, Waikato Stadium (1 try - 28th) June 17, 2006 - Summer Tour - New Zealand 27 Ireland 17, Eden Park June 24, 2006 - Summer Tour - Australia 37 Ireland 15, Subiaco Oval November 11, 2006 - Autumn International - Ireland 32 South Africa 15, Lansdowne Road November 19, 2006 - Autumn International - Ireland 21 Australia 6, Lansdowne Road November 26, 2006 - Autumn International - Ireland 61 Pacific Islanders 17, Lansdowne Road February 4, 2007 - Six Nations - Wales 9 Ireland 19, Millennium Stadium (1 try - 29th) February 24, 2007 - Six Nations - Ireland 43 England 13, Croke Park March 10, 2007 - Six Nations - Scotland 18 Ireland 19, Murrayfield March 17, 2007 - Six Nations - Italy 24 Ireland 51, Stadio Flaminio August 11, 2007 - World Cup Warm-Up - Scotland 31 Ireland 21, Murrayfield September 9, 2007 - World Cup Pool D - Ireland 32 Namibia 17, Stade Chaban-Delmas (1 try - 30th) September 15, 2007 - World Cup Pool D - Ireland 14 Georgia 10, Stade Chaban-Delmas September 21, 2007 - World Cup Pool D - France 25 Ireland 3, Stade de France September 30, 2007 - World Cup Pool D - Ireland 15 Argentina 30, Parc des Princes (1 try - 31st) February 2, 2008 - Six Nations - Ireland 16 Italy 11, Croke Park February 9, 2008 - Six Nations - France 26 Ireland 21, Stade de France February 23, 2008 - Six Nations - Ireland 34 Scotland 13, Croke Park March 8, 2008 - Six Nations - Ireland 12 Wales 16, Croke Park June 7, 2008 - Summer Tour - New Zealand 21 Ireland 11, Westpac Stadium June 14, 2008 - Summer Tour - Australia 18 Ireland 12, Telstra Dome (1 try - 32nd) November 8, 2008 - Autumn International - Ireland 55 Canada 0, Thomond Park Stadium
The Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 squads had a busy Easter period with seven matches played in Ashbourne, Cardiff, Llanelli, Caerphilly and Bordeaux. Check out some of the tries scored. Full match reports are available on www.irishrugby.ie.
Speaking to RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was asked about prioritising players playing in Ireland when it comes to national selection over those who are based overseas.
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In an interview with RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt confirmed that Girvan Dempsey, Felix Jones and Ronan O'Gara will be incorporated into the coaching group for the upcoming summer tour to the USA and Japan.
IRFU National Talent Development Manager Hendrik Kruger says the Easter age-grade internationals give the Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 players 'the chance to represent their country and experience international rugby' and are 'the highlight of their season'.
The Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools team (sponsored by PwC) played the England U-18 Counties side in the first of two matches at Ashbourne RFC this week. Check out the highlights from Wednesday's entertaining clash.
Four of our stadiums through the eyes of four Irish sporting legends. O'Driscoll on Aviva Stadium, Brogan on Croke Park, Matthews on Kingspan Stadium and O'Connell on Thomond Park. The world is invited #Ireland2023.
Irish Rugby TV caught up with flanker Sean O'Brien to get his reaction following Ireland's hard-earned 13-9 victory over RBS 6 Nations champions England. He singled out man-of-the-match Peter O'Mahony for special praise.
Peter O'Mahony reflects on what went wrong for Ireland in Cardiff and tells Irish Rugby TV that he is focusing on the squad and their work this week ahead of the final Six Nations game against England.
The Ireland squad paid a visit to Monaghan last week and held an open training session in Monaghan RFC. We spoke to Andrew Trimble after the session which was attended by over 2,000 cheering supporters.