This could be my last Six Nations: Brian O’Driscoll
Deposed Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll has dropped a bombshell on the eve of the Six Nations campaign by hinting that this 13th championship campaign could be the last for his country.
'Driscoll, whose contract with the IRFU expires next summer and has not yet been renewed, has publicly expressed his disappointment at being replaced as Irish captain and he could now be ready to hang up his boots this summer after the Lions tour to Australia.
O'Driscoll, who recently turned 34, is Ireland's record caps holder (120) and try scorer (45), but he has previously only suggested that he would not extend his career to the next World Cup, to be held in 2015.
He is still anxious to secure an extension to his IRFU contract, but he has now revealed for the first time that he may be willing to complement fast-forwarding his retirement date.
"There's every chance (it could be my last Six Nations)," he tells former Welsh out-half Jonathan Davies in an interview to be broadcast on BBC Wales tomorrow evening.
"I haven't really allowed myself to think about finishing. If you start deciding early, you're one foot into retirement already.
"So, I haven't really allowed myself to think about it. I am contracted until the summer. I'll see that out and then I'll see how the body feels. But there's a strong possibility that this could be the last."
O'Driscoll is still regarded as a leading contender to captain the Lions this summer as he begins his latest Six Nations campaign in partnership with Gordon D'Arcy for a record 49th time in international tests.
Meanwhile, Wales are contemplating a shock call-up for second-row Andrew Coombs to partner fit-again Ian Evans.