Likely final Six Nations for O'Driscoll

Thu, 31 Jan 2013 17:41
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Ireland great Brian O'Driscoll has revealed that this Six Nations Championship could be his last.

Ireland great Brian O'Driscoll has revealed this Six Nations Championship could be the last time he appears in European rugby union's premier international tournament.

The 34-year-old centre missed Ireland's 2012 end-of-year fixtures due to an ankle injury but has been restored to the side for the Six Nations opener away to Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

However, O'Driscoll - captain in 84 of his 120 Ireland Tests - finds himself back amongst the ranks after Ireland coach Declan Kidney again entrusted leadership duties to Jamie Heaslip, his skipper in November.

Kidney has insisted his decision could help prolong O'Driscoll's international career but the veteran midfielder's Irish Rugby Football Union contract expires at the end of the season.

"There's a strong possibility it could be my last," O'Driscoll told BBC Sport on Thursday.

"There's every chance it's my last Six Nations, but I haven't really allowed myself to start thinking about finishing. If you start thinking about it too early, you've one foot into retirement already.

"I'm contracted until the summer and I'll see how my body feels."

If O'Driscoll comes through the Six Nations unscathed, he could be contention for a place in the British and Irish Lions squad for their series in Australia later this year which, if selected, would be the Irishman's fourth tour with the combined side.

O'Driscoll was the Lions captain in New Zealand in 2005 although he played less than a minute of the first Test after a spear tackle by Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu led to a shoulder injury that ruled him out of the remainder of the series.

"It would be an honour that would be too big to pass up again. I got to do it once, albeit for only 25 seconds of a Test match, so it would be nice to get another opportunity," said O'Driscoll of another stint as Lions captain.

"But first I've got to get into a position to get myself on the tour and deserve my spot."

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 4 0 1 19
Ireland 5 3 0 2 14
France 5 3 0 2 14
Scotland 5 3 0 2 14
Wales 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 0