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BOD: I want to go out on high

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Members of the British and Irish Lions arrive at the Hong Kong International Airport Tuesday, May 28, 2013. The British and Irish Lions will play with the Barbarians at a XV-a-side rugby match on Saturday. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Members of the British and Irish Lions arrive at the Hong Kong International Airport Tuesday, May 28, 2013. The British and Irish Lions will play with the Barbarians at a XV-a-side rugby match on Saturday. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Members of the British and Irish Lions arrive at the Hong Kong International Airport Tuesday, May 28, 2013. The British and Irish Lions will play with the Barbarians at a XV-a-side rugby match on Saturday. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL insists the knowledge that 2013 will be his last opportunity to experience success with the British and Irish Lion tours will inspire him over the next six weeks.

O'Driscoll is the only member of the 37-man squad that departed for Hong Kong and Australia last night to have been on three previous tours, making his debut Down Under in 2001.

The Ireland centre has committed to playing next season, but knows he will never represent the elite of British and Irish rugby again.

"Just like every tour you expect to go down and perform well and you hope to win the series," he said.

"That hasn't happened the three previous times I have been involved, but you go with renewed hope every time you get the call to represent the Lions. This time is no different.

"For me it's a last chance to be involved in a winning Lions series, so I will be adding my tuppence worth and making sure we are as best prepared as we can be."

O'Driscoll was a leading contender to captain the tour, but now that Wales openside Sam Warburton has that honour, he has pledged his support.

"There is a big onus on some of the senior players to take the pressure off Sam," he said.

"He's a good talker, but a follow-me type of leader. He has a nice balance to his leadership. I have always found when I was captain that when other people were doing the talking for me I didn't need to talk as much.

 

Pressure

"When I did say one or two things people tended to listen all the more. We can help him in that regard and take the pressure off him.

"All good teams have four or five leaders littered throughout. Let's hope this one is no different."

It has been 16 years since a Lions squad enjoyed a successful tour following near misses against Australia in 2001 and South Africa in 2009 and a whitewash in New Zealand in 2005.

"It's really important to win this series," O'Driscoll said.

"From the franchise point of view we need to win on occasion and that occasion has reoccurred after 16 years. It's a long time to still be talking about 1997."


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