Rugby World Cup: Jared Payne loves being centre stage in Brian O'Driscoll role for Ireland
Ulster hero Jared Payne is relishing playing the Brian O'Driscoll role for Ireland in the World Cup.
With the number 13 on his back, previously worn by the legendary O'Driscoll, Payne scored a try in Saturday's 50-7 win over Canada.
And be it against Romania on Sunday at Wembley or later in the tournament, he is keen to resurrect his centre partnership with Robbie Henshaw, fit again after missing the victory over Canada.
The pair have become Joe Schmidt's frontline centre pairing, filling the famed boots of O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy.
"We both had some pretty big boots to fill with D'Arcy and Drico going when we got thrown in there, but I think we handled it pretty well," said Payne.
"And now I'm loving playing in the World Cup. The whole experience has been unreal."