Leinster and Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll has been announced as the Texaco Sportstars of the Year award winner in the rugby category. It is O'Driscoll's third Texaco Sportstars award - he was also a winner in 2000 and 2002.
The 28-year-old centre is currently trying to fight off an ankle injury in time for Leinster's Heineken Cup clash with Edinburgh at the RDS on Friday. He will collect his award at the 50th Texaco Sportstars of the Year awards ceremony in Dublin next Wednesday.
Confirming the rugby award winner, a release from the awards panel said: "The award goes to Leinster and Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll. During a hugely disappointing World Cup, O'Driscoll spoke about the need for players to attend to their own games and that the collective would follow. He certainly took his own words to heart, scoring Ireland's first try in France in the game against Namibia.
"In the do-or-die battles against France and Argentina, he broached the standards he expects of himself, particular in the Argentina game when he scored one try, his 31st for his country, and made the other.
"During the Six Nations he missed one match, against France, and it was the only one that Ireland lost. He has guided his province, Leinster, and country, with distinction in the last 12 months and while the results in France will have been bitterly disappointing, he led by deed as well as by word."
In total, there are ten Texaco Sportstars award winners for 2007, including hurling hero Dan Shanahan, golf star Padraig Harrington and Irish cricket captain Trent Johnston. The winners in each sport are chosen by a panel of national sports editors.
Recent winners of the Texaco rugby award have been Paul O'Connell (2003), Gordon D'Arcy (2004), Trevor Brennan (2005) and Denis Leamy (2006).