Wales v Ireland - International MatchIt says everything about Jamie Heaslip’s talent and longevity that in the World Cup warm-up against Wales recently, he surpassed David Wallace to become Ireland’s most-capped back-row.

Heaslip, 31, is excellent with ball in hand – as is shown by his 10 Test tries – but he is also not afraid of doing the dirty work at the breakdown. He made his debut in 2006 against the Pacific Islands, which was notable as he became the 1,000th man to play for Ireland.

As well as his 73 caps for Ireland in the intervening nine years, he has won another five for the Lions. He played in all three Tests in 2009 in the 2-1 series loss to South Africa and was picked for another two in Australia four years later, this time a 2-1 series triumph.

The current Leinster captain (he has also skippered Ireland on occasion) has led from the front in all three of their European Cup victories, in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

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