Mike Phillips hails 'rugby icon' Brian O'Driscoll

Ireland's centre Brian O'Driscoll is tackled by Samoa's centre Johnny Leota during the International rugby union test match between Ireland and Samoa on November 9, 2013
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Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips describes Ireland's record cap holder Brian O'Driscoll as "an icon of world rugby" in the build-up to Saturday's Six Nations showdown.

Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has described Ireland's record cap holder Brian O'Driscoll as "an icon of world rugby."

O'Driscoll will line up against Wales for the final time in Saturday's Six Nations clash at the Aviva Stadium, as the 35-year-old plans to retire at the end of the season.

"Brian O'Driscoll has been an icon of world rugby and is a gentleman off the pitch," Phillips told reporters.

"My early memories were of him scoring that try against Australia for the Lions [in 2001] and I eventually went on to play alongside him, which was a massive honour for me.

"He's scored some big tries in his career, and a couple against us as well. He's a world-class player. Everyone knows that, and I just hope he has one of those lesser games on the weekend!"

Wales are coached by Warren Gatland, who controversially omitted O'Driscoll from last summer's British and Irish Lions Test series finale against Australia.

Sean Maitland of Scotland is tackled by Cian Healy and Peter O'Mahony during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on February 2, 2014
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