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Bod can't see a time limit

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL restated his decision to play on for club and country as long as possible rather than consider a premature retirement plan.

"I don't see any need to be able to put a timeline on when I'm going to finish. I spoke to Ronan (O'Gara) the other days and he mentioned 38, but he did that so people would get off his back and stop asking him 'when he's going to retire'.

"There is no need to put a time limit on anyone. If they're in good form, the body is feeling good and they're in a good place, you play on for as long as possible. Ask Brad Thorn."

It must be difficult for O'Driscoll to consider the end when he has just resumed playing after a career threatening shoulder/neck injury.

The Irish captain lasted 59 minutes on his seasonal debut for Leinster against the Ospreys and came through the full 80 in a typically rugged encounter against Munster on Saturday.

"It is great to be back - obviously nice to get 80 minutes at the weekend -- and finish out the game feeling pretty strong. That will definitely help the lungs, but the head as well, knowing that you're able to go strong for the last five or 10 minutes".

Initially, his re-introduction into full-on match contact was sorely tested when he ran into a brick wall hit from The Ospreys' Tom Smith on a slant run last Friday week. He needed it.

"That was the one. I slipped into him. I couldn't get out of there. As it was happening, I thought 'pretty vulnerable' falling into the tackle and I went in direct, head-on with him.

Tackles

"Immediately, it felt fine. It was nice to know you were able to take those tackles and not be concerned by them. That does grow your confidence.

"As the games go on, hopefully, I will be able to get back into that physical place I want to be to dominate impacts," O'Driscoll stated.

"It was great not trying to mind it at all or hide out on the wing at any stage after a big impact. It felt very good. The bite is there in the tackle as well which was probably missing, particularly on that right side over the last couple of seasons.

"It feels good to be back and, hopefully, it continues that way."

O'Driscoll will do well to survive the collisions with the Cardiff Blues likely powerful midfield of Jamie Roberts and Casey Laulala at The Aviva Stadium in the Heineken Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

"They have great players in the centre in the guys I would expect to be playing Jamie Roberts and Casey (Laulala). I think Casey is one of the best outside centres around at the moment."

Operation

It is far from a two-man operation. There is world-class quality in the front five from Gethin Jenkins and Bradley Davies working in tandem with a fiercely competitive back row and a star-studded backline.

"I do think, on their day, they're capable of beating anyone. You look at their team, at the quality of international players coming off the success of the Grand Slam. They will be oozing with confidence. They will inject that back into the side.

"They're making life difficult for themselves in the Rabo. The Heineken is a great opportunity for them to win silverware. People might be, potentially, writing them off this weekend.

"But, we certainly won't be".

Spoken like the man he is on the way back to where he wants to be.


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