Planet Rugby

O'Driscoll backs Henshaw as successor

03rd March 2014 17:27

Share:

brian odriscoll robbie henshaw ireland

New blood: O'Driscoll and Henshaw

Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll believes 20-year-old Robbie Henshaw could be his long-term successor in the 13 jersey.

O'Driscoll, the joint most-capped player in Test history on 139, has been a mainstay in the Irish midfield since he made his debut in 2000.

Now set to bow out following an illustrious career, conversation has turned in Ireland as to who will succeed the 35-year-old when he retires in a few months time.

Henshaw has played a starring role for Connacht this season and O'Driscoll believes that he, along with the likes of Luke Fitzgerald, Jared Payne (who qualifies this year) and Darren Cave can all fill the void.

"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!"

This weekend's match in Dublin against Italy will be O'Driscoll's final home appearance in an Irish jersey, but he insists that his focus is not on the occasion, but purely on winning to give Ireland a chance to lift the title on the final weekend in Paris.

Joe Schmidt's side are currently top of the Six Nations table courtesy of a generous points difference thanks to big wins in their first two matches against Scotland and champions Wales.

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

"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."

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00