Six Nations 2014: Ireland 46 Italy 7 - Brian O'Drsicoll left 'humbled' by emotional farewell from Aviva Stadium crowd

O'Driscoll made a triumphant farewell to Dublin as he prepares for his final swansong in Paris next week

Brian O'Driscoll bade an emotional but victorious farewell to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday afternoon as Ireland kept their RBS 6 Nations title hopes alive with a crushing 46-7 win over Italy.

The 35-year-old marked his world-record 140th Test cap by deftly setting up tries for Johnny Sexton and Andrew Trimble, teeing up the Irish for a title-decider in France next weekend.

Cian Healy, Sexton, Sean Cronin, Fergus McFadden and Jack McGrath scored further tries in a one-sided contest, but the occasion was all about O'Driscoll, who was substituted after 61 minutes to a rousing standing ovation.

And the centre fought back the tears as he admitted he was still getting used to the prospect of retirement.

"I haven't let myself think about. It's emotional," O'Driscoll said on BBC1.

"It's been a huge part of my whole adult life and to leave here it's going to be hard. But good way to leave it today and hopefully we set ourselves up for next week.

"I feel humbled by the reaction today. It seems a bit of of a joke that you get get man of the match for 60 minutes, but I've loved my time playing in this jersey. It had to come to an end at some stage and I'm glad I'm able to go out at home with a big win.

"It will only properly set in when I've had a bit of time."

O'Driscoll is now hoping to end his Ireland career by lifting the Six Nations trophy in Paris next Saturday.

He said: "Hopefully next week there's a performance and a championship in this team. We have to go to France with huge positivity.

"It's one thing playing in this jersey but it's another thing altogether winning in this jersey, and we've built a good standard. We're capable of doing great things and we have to start next week by trying to win a second championship as this unit of players."

PA

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there