Following the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations, former Ireland centre Brian O’Driscoll now has company as the highest appearance maker in the Championship’s history.
On the final day of this year’s Championship, Italy’s inspirational captain Sergio Parisse made his 65th appearance in his side’s match against Scotland to move level with O’Driscoll at the head of the Top 10.
Parisse made his Championship debut against England in 2004 and has hardly missed a game since in the process of becoming Italy’s most-capped player.
The 34-year-old is now approaching a decade as the man with the armband for the Italians and, barring injury, is set to move out on his own at the top of the list in the very near future.
O’Driscoll set the mark at 65 when he helped Ireland claim the title in what was his final appearance, against France in March 2014.
This came 14 years after his Championship debut against England in February 2000 and he remains the NatWest 6 Nations record try-scorer with 26.
Third in the Top 10 is his former Ireland teammate, Ronan O’Gara, who also has a record of his own as the Championship’s record points-scorer, with his tally of 557 putting him well clear of the rest in that department.
Another Italian sits joint-fourth in prop Martin Castrogiovanni, who was the cornerstone of the Azzurri’s front row 60 times, with the last of those appearances coming against Wales in 2016.
Alongside ‘Castro’ is the next active player on the list, Rory Best, who captained Ireland in all five of the their games this year as they claimed just the third Grand Slam in their history.
It allowed him to move above prop Gethin Jenkins, a veteran of Wales’ Grand Slam years of 2005, 2008 and 2012.
The most recent of his 56 appearances was against Italy in 2016 but the 37-year-old is still going strong and continues to make himself available for selection.
Ross Ford moves down to seventh after being unable to add to his 55 games in the Championship with Scotland this year.
A fourth Irishman on the list is just below him in prop John Hayes, with 54 appearances, while Scotland’s Chris Paterson made 53 to sit ninth, during which he scored 403 points.
There is a tie for 10th between former Ireland captain Paul O’Connell and ex-Italy lock Marco Bortolami, both of whom reached 51 appearances.