June International Tours

O’Driscoll wants All Black scalp before retiring


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Brian O’Driscoll has hit back at his critics who have suggested he hang up his international boots by insisting that he plans to play beyond the 2012 Six Nations.

O’Driscoll is now 32 and has won 117 Ireland caps including 81 as captain of Ireland but after his team were knocked out of the Rugby world cup by Wales many expected him to hang up his boots.

The former British and Irish Lions captain says that after guiding Ireland to their first ever World Cup victory over a Southern Hemisphere country he wants to play on.

Ireland play the Rugby World cup champion All Blacks next June and O’Driscoll has set his sights on a a first-ever win over the New Zealanders.

“Just because you get to a certain age it’s ‘oh, he should go now’,” O’Driscoll told the Irish Independent.

“It is a bit (irritating) but, whatever. I was still worth my place in the World Cup team and I don’t have any aspirations to hang up my boots.”

“People were trying to retire me when I was 29 but I still enjoy it too much and still feel as though I have something to offer, and as long as I have something to offer and coaches want to select me, well that combination is important enough for me to continue to play on.

“Maybe I’m not as quick or as sharp as I used to be in the past, but I think I have other attributes that I didn’t have back then, so it’s about trying to maximise what you do have.”

“The great thing is that there’s always a carrot there. “

“I know it’s a three-Test tour down in New Zealand, which is no easy feat, but to be able to go down and hopefully do something that an Irish team hasn’t done before excites me and it excites other guys.”

O’Driscoll added that the fear of egretting an early retirement is what’s still keeps him going.

“I don’t want to look back in three or four years’ time and wish that I had played one more year. “

“The other thing is that I don’t want to look back and wish that I had one less year. “

“It’s about trusting your head and your body, and I am certainly not ready to go yet.”

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