Six Nations: Ireland captain Paul O'Connell heaps praise on Brian O'Driscoll
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell has hailed Brian O'Driscoll ahead of the centre's final Six Nations.
Last Updated: 01/02/14 3:36pm
The 35-year-old Leinster legend is a year O'Connell's senior and will break Ireland's all-time leading caps record with his 126th when he runs out to face Scotland on Sunday.
O'Connell, who has just signed a contract extension with Munster, said: "Brian has so much experience at this stage, his body seems to be in great shape.
"The two of us are generally first out to warm up these days because it takes us a bit longer to get going than everyone else! So we have a chat on our own while we're waiting for everyone else to come out.
"But he's on great form and really looking forward to it.
"It's tough to think what it will be like without him. Obviously he's a fantastic player but the confidence he gives to people around him as well, even to the forward pack is massive for the team, and it's going to be a big loss to the team.
"So if Brian O'Driscoll's available for the entire championship, I want him out there, and I'm sure everyone else will too. Brian will definitely want to be out there, that's for sure."
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was equally effusive in his praise for O'Driscoll, who is already the country's all-time leading try-scorer with 46.
Schmidt added: "Brian's been almost effervescent really, there's a real spring in his step. We hope that factors onto the field on Sunday.
"He's pretty understated on the fact he will be Ireland's most-capped Test player. I know to him every one of those caps is incredibly special. He will be 100 per cent ready by Sunday."