Yet another Irish rugby international hangs up his boots
Irish rugby is set to lose another great servant at season’s end when Munster’s Mick O’Driscoll hangs up his boots.
From Jerry Flannery to Shane Horgan, some of the most familiar faces in Irish rugby over the past decade have decided recently to give up the game they love. Now we can add the name of Munster lock Mick O’Driscoll to that list.
The 33-year-old second row is widely reported today to be retiring at the end of the season, after a long and distinguished career with Munster and Ireland.
The Cork man made his provincial debut way back in 1998, and he is one of a handful of players to win 200 caps for Munster. But for the two years he spent playing in France with Perpignan from 2003, who knows how many caps he could have won.
O’Driscoll was generally the back up for either Paul O’Connell or Donncha O’Callaghan but he made regular appearances from the bench, including in both of Munster’s Heineken Cup final wins in 2006 and 2008.
The same duo severely hampered O’Driscoll’s opportunities for Ireland. He made his debut against Romania in 2001 but he didn’t make his first start until 2007, against Italy. O’Driscoll will finish with 23 Irish caps to his name.
A player like O’Driscoll, skilled, reliable, always ready to step in, is invaluable for top-level teams and his departure is yet another headache for whoever takes over from Tony McGahan at the end of the season.
O’Driscoll and Munster still have the PRO12 to play for so we‘re sure Mick will want to go out on a high. We wish him all the best.