Updated: Sunday, 09 March 2014 00:53 | By Agence France-Presse

Emotional O'Driscoll departs Dublin to standing ovation

Irish rugby icon Brian O'Driscoll received a standing ovation when he was replaced on the hour mark during the 46-7 Six Nations victory over Italy at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.


Emotional O'Driscoll departs Dublin to standing ovation

Brian O'Driscoll (right) evades a tackle by Italy's Robert Barbieri during the Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy at Aviva stadium in Dublin on March 8, 2014 - by Peter Muhly

The 35-year-old centre -- who won a record 140th cap when he took to the pitch -- created three of Ireland's tries to bow out on a high note on his last Test appearance in front of his home crowd.

He was named man of the match to no great surprise eliciting a smile and a wink to the cameras.

"A bit of a joke really to be man of the match after just 60 minutes," grinned the Leinster stalwart.

O'Driscoll said that he had tried to avoid thinking too much about what it would be like to bow out on what has been his home ground both for country and for his province, who play their big matches there. 

"I haven't really let myself think about it, you know. It is emotional.

"It has been a huge part of my whole adult life and to leave here is going to be hard. But it is a good way to leave and sets it up nicely for next week.

"I feel humbled by the reaction today. I have loved my time playing in this jersey, it has to come to an end at some stage and I am happy to go out with a big win.

"It will only properly sink in I think when I have had a bit of time. We need to go to France with big positivity and try and relive what happened in 2000 (when Ireland won in Paris for the first time in 28 years). 

"It is one thing playing in this jersey but it is another thing altogether winning in this jersey."

He is set to end his international career in Paris next Saturday against France.

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