Rugby legend is not rusty yet

Photo by Arun Marsh

Brian O’Driscoll has revealed he is in no rush to disclose his potential retirement plans over which speculation is rife.

The Ireland and Leinster legend has said he will make his decision in July after the conclusion of the Lions Tour, which he is expected to be a part of. “I’m not under any massive pressure to make a decision,” he said. “I will see what happens over the next few months and take a look at things in July.”

Rumours of Ireland’s record try scorer’s imminent retirement arose after it emerged that he was absent from Leinster’s list of players who have signed on for next season. Of course due to the small print in the contracts of Irish Internationals who play for their provinces, it would not be possible for O’Driscoll to retire from Ireland and continue to play for Leinster.

This is because when players emerge onto the Irish International scene, the IRFU take over the responsibility of their contract. It is this policy that is central to the reason why professionalism has been very good to the top level of Irish Rugby. The national has won several triple crowns, a Grand Slam and has defeated every top test nation apart from New Zealand.

However, as the IRFU controls his contract, O’Driscoll cannot retire from Ireland and continue to play for Leinster. Although he could easily continue to play club rugby overseas and has been linked with the Top 14 in the past, the birth of his daughter Sadie in February of this year means his priorities may have changed.

Speaking about the remainder of the season, O’Driscoll is looking forward to have a chance of being on a winning Lions team at the fourth attempt. “It is a serious time of the season for a lot of players and certain players will be hopeful of getting selected,” he said. “But you just have to keep on trying to improve and make a few more headaches for the coaches. I just want to play in a winning Lions team,” O’Driscoll added.

So, as this would suggest, if the Lions Tour is to be O’Driscoll’s last swansong, he will leave an irreplaceable hole at number 13 for Leinster and Ireland and will leave Irish fans with unforgettable memories of a career that took in 46 tries in 125 caps for one of the best centres to ever play the game.


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