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O'Driscoll puts retirement talk to bed

IRISH captain Brian O’Driscoll wants to beat world champions New Zealand and play in the next Lions tour in 2013 before he hangs up his boots.

The legendary Irish captain wants to be involved in the first Irish team to beat the All-Blacks and has rounded on critics calling for his international retirement.

“People were trying to retire me when I was 29 but I still enjoy it too much and \[Ian Winterton\]still feel as though I have something to offer,” he said.

“The great thing is that there’s always a carrot there. I know it’s a three-Test tour down in New Zealand, which is no easy feat, but to be able to go down and hopefully do something that an Irish team hasn’t done before excites me and it excites other guys.”

The 32-year-old admits he still harbours regrets over the manner of Ireland’s exit from last month’s World Cup.

“In a way it’s especially frustrating because there has been no negativity here at all. People come up and say ‘well done’ and it’s hard to accept that for reaching a quarter-final,” he said.

“In our minds it wasn’t ‘well done’, it was just shy of well done.

“Looking back now the only thing I would change is the performance in the quarter-final.

“Everything was perfect in the build-up, I have no qualms about that. We made too many errors at important times and we didn’t build pressure the way we needed to.”