Six Nations: Brian O'Driscoll believes Robbie Henshaw will succeed him for Ireland

Last Updated: 03/03/14 4:29pm

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The 6 Nations is wide open after round 3 of the competition.

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Brian O'Driscoll has tipped Connacht's Robbie Henshaw to succeed him at outside centre for Ireland.

Henshaw, 20, has impressed for his province this season and O'Driscoll believes he can be Ireland's next "seasoned campaigner" in the No. 13 shirt.

"There is no individual feeling, there really isn't. I've never been one for great sentiment. There's always time to reflect afterwards, and that's the time to do it. The team is the absolute priority."
Brian O'Driscoll

"Robbie is a very, very talented young lad, who is a great listener, a really good young talent, and really good lad too," said O'Driscoll.

"I think he has all the attributes to be a seasoned campaigner for Ireland for many, many years.

"And then you have the beauty of guys who have played there before in Luke Fitzgerald, someone like Jared Payne who qualifies in November.

"As 13s absolutely Robbie and Darren Cave are well-placed; we've an abundance of talent coming through.

"I think it's testament to Darren, who has not been in the frame for a while, but keeping an eye on his form for Ulster he's been playing extremely well.

"So I think we're in a good place with guys coming through, and in no time no one will remember me!"

O'Driscoll is set to surpass George Gregan's world-record haul of 139 Test caps in Saturday's Six Nations meeting with Italy.

The 35-year-old admitted he thought last March's 13-13 draw with France in Dublin would prove his final Ireland turn on home soil.

Three-quarters of his bonus season later, the decorated British and Irish Lion finds it easier to shrug off the emotions of retirement the second time around.

Excited

Ireland can still pinch the Six Nations title, and O'Driscoll is refusing to focus on anything else.

"It doesn't feel any different, it's just hard: you just want to get on with it," he said.

"I'm excited about it being a last home game, for sure, in that it will be one to remember.

"But at the same time and more importantly it's an opportunity to put ourselves in an opportunity to win the Six Nations.

"I really won't think too much on the final games until it's done and dusted, and there'll be plenty of time to reflect on it afterwards.

"There was emotion last year; against France I did at the time think that was going to be it. But a couple of different factors convinced me to play on for another year.

"I'm not really that emotional a person, and so I won't allow the build-up to affect me. Whatever emotions you do have after that will happen organically.

"Sure aspects will be difficult and I'll be sad, but I can't wait.

"There is no individual feeling, there really isn't. I've never been one for great sentiment. There's always time to reflect afterwards, and that's the time to do it. The team is the absolute priority.

"There will be no extra emphasis made from anyone, other than an opportunity to give ourselves a final-day showdown with France."

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