In the world of rugby the gold standard for all the other teams is All Black.
Ireland have climbed to second in the world rankings under Joe Schmidt but the Kiwi-native still measures the progress of his side by their matches against his homeland.
"Against New Zealand you've got to gear yourself up for a physical battle, because it's what they bring".
"That's why we limit ourselves to once every 15 years because we don't want to get carried away with things".
But as Ireland prepare to face New Zealand before wrapping up their November campaign at home to the USA next week, O'Driscoll says the result against the All Blacks is all that matters.
If you thought that Ireland had withstood an onslaught at the end: they could have held on for longer.
Schmidt himself referred to the closing stages of that 2013 loss on Thursday, although he has now narrowed his focus to the heart-stopping finish when Ireland lost possession with 29 seconds of normal time remaining. I think the way the game is going, 20-phase defensive sets in three or four minutes at the very top level, Joe is pushing the boat out in terms of conditioning and it showed at the weekend.
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Instead, they need to start looking at the gap between themselves and the Champions League qualification places. Their next challenge is the European Cup, the Champions League.
Devin Toner comes in for Iain Henderson, partnering James Ryan in the second row, with skipper Rory Best, Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong continuing in front of them.
Ireland and New Zealand have met 31 times since their first match in 1905, with the All Blacks recording 28 wins to Ireland's brace of victories. "If you had Murray on there I'd be a lot more confident".
New Zealand this year swept the home series against France, won another Rugby Championship, and overcame the English at Twickenham last weekend by blanking them for the last hour in the rain.
Henry's former Ulster and Ireland team-mate Darren Cave is also bullish about Ireland's prospects of toppling the All Blacks and believes that Schmidt will be hugely motivated to upset the world number one team.
Ireland host New Zealand in tonight's blockbuster Autumn International from Dublin. I think they've got a top side out and we know they'll come after us in some areas, because they did last time.
It marks yet another high point for New Zealand-born Schmidt's Six Nations Grand Slam winners, who will hope to maintain this form all the way to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
"But there will definitely be a feeling that you can get a one-up on someone you could find yourself meeting at some stage in the World Cup, because they're the best team in the world, and from Ireland's perspective that's either going to be at a quarterfinal stage or in the final".