Brian O'Driscoll has been subject to many lavish tributes down the years, in the form of encomia from his peers on the rugby field and at least 10 million youttube compilations. Most superlatives have been exhausted.
Therefore, when praising Brian O'Driscoll, it can be hard to avoid stepping into cliche. Joe Schmidt came up with a new one today. He's compared Brian O'Driscoll to one Benjamin Button, the F. Scott Fitzgerald created character, who ages in reverse.
"If he can hit 24 next week I think we'll get the perfect blend; he's Brian Button now. By his own standards there were a couple of loose passes, and he'll look to tidy that up.
Brian got through his defensive workload pretty effectively, and we knew he would have to. He had David Denton coming round the corner, who was a real threat for them.
I thought he did a fantastic offensive tackle towards the end of the game, where if they'd broken the line they would have been able to have one last shot at us.
That's the sort of quality he brings, it wasn't just the quality of the tackle, it's the quality of what he did post-tackle that makes him great value."
It's a justifiable tribute to O'Driscoll's longevity. We're not quite sure it's strictly accurate of course. I may have to look at the footage again but I don't believe that when he scored that hat-trick in Paris, he looked a wrinkled and old, short of a yard of pace.