O'Driscoll to soldier on

Thu, 07 Feb 2013 06:54
Large brian o driscoll630 Large brian o driscoll hands on h Large brian o driscoll lions runs

Ireland great Brian O'Driscoll said he has made no plans yet to call time on his rugby career after suggesting recently this could be his "last" Six Nations.

Ireland great Brian O'Driscoll said he has made no plans yet to call time on his rugby career after suggesting recently this could be his "last" Six Nations.

Having indicated he could be taking part in Europe's premier rugby championship for the final time in the build-up to Ireland's opening match in Wales, the 34-year-old centre produced a superb display in a 30-22 victory in Cardiff, setting up one try, scoring another and starring in defence.

O'Driscoll's Leinster contract expires at the end of the season and this has led to speculation that, if selected, the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia in June could mark the end of his career.

Fitness, rather than any lessening desire to extend his 14-year Test career, appears to be the biggest issue confronting O'Driscoll, who missed Ireland's November tests with an ankle injury.

O'Driscoll, speaking ahead of Sunday's match against England in Dublin, insisted that he had only spoken about retirement ahead of the Wales match because he had been asked about the issue.

"I said it because I was asked the question. I hadn't intended causing a stir, I was just being honest in answering a question," he said.

"I haven't really allowed myself to think about it. If you start thinking about retirement in six months time you're already there.

"It will all evolve. The situation will unfold. I'll have to listen to my body," he added.

Unusually, for a man who has spent the bulk of his career as Ireland captain, O'Driscoll finds himself in the ranks after coach Declan Kidney opted to entrust leadership duties to Jamie Heaslip, his skipper in November.

O'Driscoll said while he was saddened to lose the captaincy, he understood Kidney's thinking and insisted the decision had made no great difference to his game, a point he proved against Wales.

"I've read a little bit of stuff over the last while that taking the burden of captaincy away from me has allowed me to think about my game.

"I'd like to think that in the 10 years I was captain I played a few all right games as well.

"It hasn't changed the way I go about my business or the way I carry on around camp.

"I suppose I thought at some point the captaincy would be passed on, but looking forwards I'm not going to be around for the 2015 World Cup, so it's a good opportunity to give Jamie a run in it.

"Jamie's going to be around for a considerable amount of time, albeit that didn't make the decision any easier or lessen the disappointment when I was told," O'Driscoll added.

With England having beaten Scotland 38-18 at Twickenham last weekend, Sunday's match is already being billed as a title-decider.

"They're great occasions, largely because invariably England are one of the best sides in the world," O'Driscoll said.

"You have to bring your 'A' game. It's England in Dublin and that's an exciting prospect no matter how many times you've had it."

AFP

England vs Italy
sast: 17h00 | local: 15h00

  • |
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
Cardiff Blues v Munster 17h15 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cheetahs v Bulls 17h30 Bloemfontein
Leinster v Scarlets 19h35 RDS Arena
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 3 2 0 1 10
Scotland 3 2 0 1 9
England 2 2 0 0 8
Wales 3 1 0 2 5
France 3 1 0 2 5
Italy 2 0 0 2 0
RELATED ARTICLES