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Wednesday 17 September 2014

O'Driscoll not focusing on retirement

Published 06/02/2013 | 20:02

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Brian O'Driscoll has not allowed himself to contemplate retirement just yet

Brian O'Driscoll may have suggested last week the 2013 RBS 6 Nations is likely to be his last, but the Ireland centre has insisted his physical condition will make the ultimate decision.

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With his Leinster contract expiring this summer, the 34-year-old's future has been a source of speculation with the summer Lions tour to Australia offering a potentially fairytale conclusion. He hinted he was participating in his last Six Nations in the build-up to Saturday's 30-22 victory over Wales, but on Wednesday he revealed the decision remains open.

"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. I just want to concentrate on my rugby and enjoy it and live in the moment. It will all evolve. The situation will unfold. I'll have to listen to my body."

He added: "I haven't been wondering if Saturday will be the last time I'll play England in the Aviva Stadium, far from it. Winning man of the match against Wales doesn't have a bearing. It's a nice reminder that it's still there. But with regards to the decision-making process, because I'm not thinking about it, it hasn't altered my thinking."

For the first time since 2003 Ireland have entered the Six Nations without O'Driscoll at the helm following coach Declan Kidney's decision to give Jamie Heaslip the captaincy. The move polarised opinion with some claiming it would enable O'Driscoll to concentrate on himself in a Lions year, but the Leinster centre disagrees.

"I don't think not being captain has made much difference," he said.

"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 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."

England visit Dublin on Sunday in a potential Six Nations decider and O'Driscoll, who has won his last seven games against the Red Rose, is relishing the prospect.

"They're great games against England. The country's non-rugby fans probably pay more attention to England matches because of the history between the countries," he said. "They're great occasions, largely because invariably England are one of the best sides in the world. You have to bring your 'A' game. It's England in Dublin and that's an exciting prospect."

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