YouTube Screengrab

Was this Donncha O'Callaghan's final Amhrán na bhFiann?

The Munster lock may have lined out with the Ireland team for the last time.

IRELAND COACH DECLAN KIDNEY named his starting XV and replacements to take on Italy this weekend.

For the first time in 22 Test matches the name Donncha O’Callaghan was missing from the matchday squad.

The Munster man, who turns 34 next Sunday, has appeared 94 times for his country and made four outings with the British & Irish Lions.

He has also appeared over 200 times in the second row for Munster. Speaking about O’Callaghan before the Scotland game, Peter O’Mahony told

He’s a great voice, a great level head and he leads by his example, leads by his work on the pitch. And that happens in training (too), it’s not just the 80 minutes, it’s every week in training or the gym.

“He’s a good fella for young lads to look up to and get in and put their head down behind him.”

With Iain Henderson emerging as a lock of genuine talent, Paul O’Connell returning from injury and Devin Toner getting the nod on the bench this week, O’Callaghan could have played his last game in green.

He played the final 13 minutes against France and was commitment personified.

This moment [skip to 2:50], the television coverage of an emotional O’Callaghan during the pre-match anthems, may be the most fitting way to remember a truly dedicated Irishman:

YouTube credit: Joaquin – Eduardo

If this is to be the end of O’Callaghan’s time with the national team, salutes you.

Update: O’Driscoll named in starting line-up to face Italy, Sexton injured

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