Rob Henderson was the first to deputise, in a 34-23 loss to Argentina in Ferrocaril Oeste 13 years ago, and did so again a week later against the USA before Munster’s Mike Mullins stepped in against Canada.
Mullins would fulfil the role another four times but the majority of those who followed ultimately made names for themselves in other areas of the pitch, mindful perhaps that 13 would prove unlucky for anyone with such designs.
Gordon D’Arcy, Geordan Murphy, Gavin Duffy, Shane Horgan, Andrew Trimble and Barry Murphy all had their turns at outside-centre before Cave’s number was called and his audition was pretty typical in its exotic surroundings.
Ireland may have toured the Pacific Islands, Argentina, Japan and North America this last decade but O’Driscoll has never travelled for any of them due to Lions commitments, injury or the simple fact that seniority deemed it unnecessary.
Since Cave in 2009, Keith Earls has covered for an injured O’Driscoll five times and Fergus McFadden, a Leinster team-mate who has long since realised the wisdom of diversifying his portfolio on the wing, just the once.