Ronan O’Gara needs just two points to become the first Irishman and only the fifth player in world rugby history to score 1000 or more international points.
Given that Ronan O’Gara is averaging almost eight points per game over his 11 Six Nations appearances against Wales, he looks likely to create more Irish rugby history at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Buoyed by his man-of-the-match performance in the win over Scotland last time out, O’Gara could also overtake former Italy star Diego Dominguez on the world all-time points scorers’ list. He needs 13 points to do so in Cardiff.
O’Gara is currently the Championship’s leading points scorer with 543 points in 54 games. England’s Jonny Wilkinson, with 541 points in 41 outings, is his closest rival.
When lining out against the Welsh, the Munster out-half will move to within one appearance of former Ireland centre Mike Gibson’s record of 56 Championship appearances.
Speaking about O’Gara ahead of the Cardiff clash, Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins said: “We know how good a player he is. We need to be on the ball tomorrow, whether they go for a running or kicking game or a bit of both.
“What can you say about him? He has done everything. I have been lucky to tour with him with the Lions in 2001 and as a kicking coach in 2009.
“I get on well with him. He is a great bloke and a fantastic rugby player. He has achieved everything in the game.
“He has been on three Lions tours, he has won more than 100 caps, a Grand Slam, Triple Crowns, Heineken Cups. He is a Munster legend, and now he needs just a couple of points for the thousand.
“If I see him tomorrow I am sure I will have a bit of banter with him, as he is getting close to my number (of points). He is a legend of the game and a legend of Irish rugby.”
WORLD’S LEADING POINTS SCORERS:
1190 – Jonny Wilkinson (England-1123, Lions-67)
1188 – Dan Carter (New Zealand)
1090 – Neil Jenkins (Wales-1049, Lions-41)
1010 – Diego Domínguez (Italy-983, Argentina-27)
998 – Ronan O’Gara (Ireland)
967 – Andrew Mehrtens (New Zealand)
934 – Stephen Jones (Wales-881, Lions-53)
911 – Michael Lynagh (Australia)
893 – Percy Montgomery (South Africa)
878 – Matt Burke (Australia)
DID YOU KNOW?:
Ireland are the only team to have held their line intact against Wales in the RBS 6 Nations during Warren Gatland’s
This weekend will be Gatland’s 19th in charge of Wales and in 18 games only the Irish, in 2009 and 2010, have stopped his team from scoring a try.
You have to go back to the Grand Slam season of 2008 for the only try Wales have scored against Ireland under Gatland.
Their try-scoring record against other nations is: 12 v Italy (4 games), 11 v Scotland (4 games), 6 v England (4 games) and 5 v France (3 games).
The Irish try count in Six Nations matches at the Millennium Stadium is 12-5 over Wales in five visits.