Rob Henderson joined Brian O'Driscoll on Monday Night Rugby on Off The Ball as the pair looked back on some memorable moments on the pitch together at the turn of the century.
Henderson was beside O'Driscoll as he truly announced himself on the world stage in 2000, scoring a hat-trick against the French in the old Five Nations, in Paris.
While the win was a shock to almost everyone, Henderson says the win was coming: "I remember two years previously we could have won. I think we lost 19-15. The following year we lost 10-9 at Lansdowne Road.
"But in 2000, we had a certain up-and-coming superstar with us. We just had a bit more belief about us, we had a bit more belief about what we were doing.
"Warren Gatland - like him, love him, loathe him, whatever - he was fundamental to the start point of Irish rugby and getting the momentum for the direction it is in today.
What Gatland started in 1998 according to Henderson led to the win in Paris: "we went over with a bit more self-belief that we could compete with these people."
"The one thing that stood out for me in that game was Denis Hickie," says Henderson.
"Oh my god, what a tackle that was, "interjected O'Driscoll, in reference to the famous tap tackle French hooker Marc dal Maso.
"If dal Maso scored that, it's game over," insists Henderson.
Rob Henderson singled out others for backhanded praise: "Mal O'Kelly with the left-handed missed pass. I reckon he meant to throw a dummy, but he just let the ball go."
"There was a pocket of Irish fans," recalled the inside centre of the possible sixteenth man that day, "They were stuck in one of the corners, and on 65 minutes, they started outsinging the 65,000 French in the Parc des Princes.
"That gave us such a lift, and walking off as the first Irish team to win over there since 1972, in the Stade Colombes, having never won in the Parc des Princes, was just so emotional."
While the game, at the time, still had many remnants of the amateur era, so the celebrations that followed went long into the Parisian night according to the centre pairing.
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