Friday 17 January 2020

Brian O'Driscoll refuses to set date for retirement

Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll in action during
training in UCD yesterday
Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll in action during training in UCD yesterday
O'Driscoll talks to reporters while wearing the training top of his friend and former team-mate Shane Horgan
Brian O'Driscoll, Leinster, in action against Lifeimi Mafi, Munster. Celtic League, Munster v Leinster, Thomond Park, Limerick. Photo: Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL is refusing to set a date for his retirement from rugby as he prepares for Saturday's Heineken Cup quarter-final against the Cardiff Blues.

The 33-year-old had previously suggested that next year's Lions tour to Australia would be the ideal time for him to step away from the sport but, having just sat out six months of rugby after undergoing shoulder surgery, the Ireland captain is no longer willing to commit to a date.

Ronan O'Gara said last week that he intends playing until the age of 38, while O'Driscoll's new team-mate Brad Thorn won a World Cup at 36.

Now, having returned to rugby against the Ospreys and gone the full 80 minutes in Saturday's win over Munster at Thomond Park, the centre just wants to keep playing. "I don't know," O'Driscoll said when asked about a retirement date. "I'm not in a place at the moment where I am going to worry about how long I play for.

"Right now I am enjoying my rugby. We are where we want to be. We are top of the league, in the knockout stages of Europe so I don't see any need to be putting a timeline on when I am going to finish.

"I spoke to Ronan the other day and he mentioned 38, but he mentioned 38 so people would get off his back and stop asking him as to when he is going to retire. There is no need to be putting a time limit on anyone.

"If they are in good form, their body is feeling good and they are mentally in a good place then I think you play on as long as possible. Just ask Brad Thorn."

Meanwhile, Cardiff Blues' preparations for this weekend's showdown have been rocked by the club's decision to sack Gavin Henson for his drunken antics on board the club's flight back from Glasgow last Saturday morning after their 31-3 defeat to the Warriors the previous evening.

"The immediate termination of his contract sends out a clear message that behaviour like that will not be tolerated at the Blues," a club statement said.

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