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O'Driscoll downplays retirement talk

Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland has been representing his country for 14 years.

Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland has been representing his country for 14 years. Photo: AFP

DUBLIN: Ireland great Brian O'Driscoll said he'd 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 superlative 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 on Wednesday he'd only spoken about retirement ahead of the Wales match because he'd 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."


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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Stats
ENG 0vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs WAL 0 02:00Twic
NZL 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs ARG 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 0vs SCO 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 3 0 3 0 -139 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 3 0 3 0 -96 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 3 0 3 0 -59 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Romania 3 1 2 0 -59 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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