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
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 5 0 132 10
Wales 5 3 1 1 7
Ireland 5 2 1 2 5
Scotland 5 2 0 3 4
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 0 0 5 0