FEARS are growing that Brian O'Driscoll will retire at the end of the season after his name was missing from a list of player contracts for next season released by Leinster.
O'Driscoll's name was conspicuously absent from the list of 23 new contracts announced by the province and it is possible he will never again play in European competition should Leinster lose their Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against Wasps in Wycombe on Friday next.
O'Driscoll is still keeping everyone guessing as to his future plans and has consistently maintained he will make his decision known at the end of the season. It is, however, anticipated he will retire from the game after the Lions tour to Australia.
The IRFU have indicated that they wish to discuss his future and have intimated that an offer is on the table for another year – tying him to Leinster – if he so wishes.
However, neither Ireland nor Leinster are putting O'Driscoll under any pressure to make a final decision and are agreeable to his timetable. It is hoped that exiting the international arena on the low note of a suspension could prompt him to extend his career for one more season.