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All Blacks duo hail O'Driscoll

19th November 2013 07:01

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Praised: Brian O'Driscoll

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw and centre Ben Smith have praised Ireland veteran Brian O'Driscoll ahead of this weekend's Test.

O'Driscoll is yet to win against New Zealand, with time running out on the former British and Irish Lions' captain's career.

New Zealand are targeting an unbeaten year after winning at Twickenham last weekend, but McCaw's sole focus is on getting past O'Driscoll - dismissing calls from some that the Ireland centre should call it a day.

"I have a huge amount of admiration and respect for the way he plays," said McCaw.

"He's always been hugely competitive, which you expect from top players. Whatever people say, I know he's a classy player. We'll probably see that again soon."

Smith, who will line up opposite O'Driscoll at the Aviva Stadium, added that O'Driscoll was still world class.

"He's shown that he's world class," said Smith.

"You wanna play against the best players in the world and he's shown that he's definitely one of them."

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