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Brian O'Driscoll announced himself on the scene in the southern hemisphere 18 years ago today when he scored a stunning solo try against Australia at The Gabba in Brisbane.

The Dubliner's hat trick against France in Paris a year earlier was his break-out moment in Europe but the SANZAR powerhouses had yet to be convinced of the Irishman's talent.

Led by Graham Henry, the Lions faced the reigning Rugby World Champions Australia in an eagerly anticipated tour in 2001.

Captained by Martin Johnson for the second consecutive time - after he led the tourists to a stunning Series win in South Africa four years previously - the Lions assembled arguably one of their most exciting ever squads.

From the speedy Jason Robinson on the wing to the raw talent of Jonny Wilkinson pulling the strings at out-half to the power of Johnson and Scott Quinnell in the pack, this Lions squad was pockmarked with legendary figures throughout.

Funnily enough, O'Driscoll started the Tour by playing at full back in the 116-10 hammering of Western Australia in the first match to get the Tour up and running.

The tourists navigated the warm-up matches winning five of their first six games to build up considerable momentum but the Tour wasn't without its controversy with player's newspaper diaries causing issues throughout.

A sea of red greeted the squad when they arrivied in Brisbane for the opening test of the Series.

The Lions had built up a 12-3 lead by the time O'Driscoll landed a sucker punch from inside his own half.

The Leinster man sliced through the Wallabies' first line of defence after he picked a gap between Jeremy Paul and Nathan Grey before rounding Matt Burke and racing over the line ahead of the chasing Australian defence to score a try that has gone down in Lions history.

The tourists would go on to win the match 29-13 with tries from Jason Robinson, Dafydd James and Scott Quinnell also on the score sheet.

However, the home side fought back to win the next two Tests and cement their stature as one the great sides in Test match rugby.

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