In the first of our new polls, legendary centre Mike Gibson has pipped 2001 IRB Player of the year Keith Wood for the title of best Irish international of all time.
Irishrugby.ie asked its users this week - "Who do you rate as the best Irish international of all time?" - and after 2,001 responses, Belfast-born Gibson, who made his Test debut as a 21-year-old against England in 1964, reigned supreme with 39% (786 votes).
Wood, Ireland's hooker and captain at the last World Cup, polled 38% (779), while current skipper Brian O'Driscoll yielded 11% (231), Willie John McBride, captain on the Lions' unbeaten tour of South Africa in 1974, finished on 8% (174), while the Lions' record try scorer Tony O'Reilly - capped by Ireland at 18 - pulled in 1% (31).
Winner Gibson had a distinguished international career, which ran for an incredible fifteen years and saw him line out a record 69 times for Ireland. He continued playing club rugby until 42.
The Cambridge graduate, famed as much for his great hands and line-breaking ability as his tactical skills and rapier boot, scored 112 Test points (9 tries, 16 penalties, 7 conversions and 6 drop goals) for Ireland in an innings that also saw him tour five times with the Lions.
Gibson's record Ireland caps haul of 69 was finally overtaken by lock Malcolm O'Kelly against Scotland in February of this year. The mark had lasted for 26 years.
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