Ireland captain Rory Best wants the ongoing comparisons between Garry Ringrose and Brian O’Driscoll to come to an end.
Ringrose burst onto the scene last season with Leinster and subsequently has been compared to one of his predecessors in both the Leinster and Ireland outside centre channel in O’Driscoll.
The 22-year-old made his debut only just last November against Canada, with last weekend’s defeat to Scotland being his fourth cap.
Best, who played for several years alongside O’Driscoll, has stressed that the two are different players and that Ringrose must be his own man.
“People just want this fantasy that there’s another Brian O’Driscoll out there: there isn’t another Brian O’Driscoll,” Best said.
“There’s another great, young guy, who happens to be from Dublin who happens to play 13 – but he’s not going to be exactly the same.
“There are some things Garry doesn’t do as well as Drico, but there are other things he could potentially do better than Drico. He has to be his own player.
“I think people often want to draw similarities: people saw Drico thrown in as a 20-year-old so they say, ‘Let’s do that with Garry’.
“But the game’s very different now as well. You’ve got to give this guy a chance as Joe (Schmidt) has done, and now he’s reaping the benefits of it.
“Joe brought him into training and let him get his bearings and learn a little bit behind the scenes, and that’s definitely paid off.”