It's nearly two years since he played in an Irish jersey, but the name 'Brian O'Driscoll' still commands a special level of respect from Irish people – one that's usually reserved for the likes of Marty Morrissey, Mr Tayto and the rebels of 1916.
And in his latest blog post, he shows just how much of an inspirational battler he was – even when he wasn't on the pitch.
Having come back from an extended rest period, due to the 2009 Lions tour, BOD had only two days of pre-season training before he headed off again for eye surgery. And so, he explains, his taskmasters decided to make the most of his precious time:
When the Strength and Conditioning coach Chris Dennis discovered I'd only be training for two days before I was gone again he decided to beast me on day one. He put me in with a group of players that were three weeks into their pre-season program.
So how bad was it?
Well the list of the activities – which could be completed at a pace and breakdown of the player's choosing – pretty much says it all.
- 100 x 60kg deadlifts
- 100 x 40kg push press
- 100 x 40kg hang high pull
- 100 x Push-ups
- 100 x Lying pull ups
- 100 x Box jumps
- 100 x 20kg plate Press and extension
- 100 x 20kg barbell curls
- 100 x Tyre Flips
- 100 x Sit Ups
"By the sixth exercise I was doing five to six repetitions at a go," he writes. "By exercise eight it was down to three to four. The plate press extension was my last exercise – I must have finished it with 40 single reps.
"It was supposed to be a 45-50 minute session. It took me 85."
Well, we always said he was a superhero...