200 Not Out For Micko
2nd March 2012 By jess
On Saturday, Mick O’Driscoll will join an elite group of Munster players when he makes his 200th competitive appearance in the Munster jersey, in the RaboDirect PRO12 game against the Dragons in Rodney Parade.
It will be a record 125th League appearance for O'Driscoll who made his debut for Munster in August 1998 and his achievement is all the more extraordinary given he spent two years with Perpignan in France.
As things stand Peter Stringer leads the way for most Munster caps on 223, followed by Ronan O'Gara (219) and John Hayes (217).
Marcus Horan was the last player to hit the magical 200 mark back in December and it's likely that only one other player – Donncha O'Callaghan – will emulate him and O'Driscoll.
Just about seven months shy of his 34th birthday O'Driscoll won the first of his 55 Munster Heineken Cup caps (he won 7 with Perpignan) in Musgrave Park against Neath in September 1998.
The then UCC clubman, one of five changes from the previous week, came into the starting XV in place of Shane Leahy who was forced to withdraw through injury, and when he gave way in the 63rd minute, it was David Wallace who replaced him.
A week later or so later he had his first experience of the Stade Aime Giral, where he was to later spend two seasons, when Munster played Perpignan, O'Driscoll packing down alongside captain Mick Galwey, with debutant Peter Stringer at scrum-half, and this time he gave way to Donncha O'Callaghan making his Heineken Cup debut.