Sport Rugby

Saturday 21 April 2018

'I don't want to be a known as a player who never won a Test series'

Brian O'Driscol
Brian O'Driscol
Conor George

Conor George

BRIAN O'DRISCOLL has told his team-mates its about time the Lions took down a series and claimed this squad "need to win one soon" ahead of this morning's opening Test.

"I dearly want to be part of that for my own sake, but also for the Lions' sake going forward," said O'Driscoll.

"I think we need to win one of these series soon and let's hope it starts tomorrow."

The Ireland veteran is the first international Test centurion to feature in a Lions match, on either side of the pitch.

"I don't want to become known as a player who played a lot of matches in a Lions shirt, but didn't win a Test series," he admitted.

Twelve years ago the Lions' supporters took the Wallabies by surprise by packing the Gabba Stadium.

"It genuinely felt like a home game that day. We ran out, and it was three-quarters red," recalled O'Driscoll.

It's unlikely the Lions supporters will be able to match that feat this time round, but O'Driscoll is banking on a vociferous support.

"Our fair share of red would be good," he said.

"It's so unique that four countries are shouting for you for a seven-week period.

"It's kind of bizarre, but it's brilliant, and for them to have love for you as a collective for that period makes it unique and very, very special."

You have to go back to 1997 for the Lions' last series success, when a Keith Wood-inspired squad defeated South Africa.

The only meaningful Test victory since was the opening game of the 2001 series when O'Driscoll scored his only Lions Test try.

Australian captain James Horwill, meanwhile, threw down the gauntlet to the tourists by boldly stating the Wallabies will win the opening Test.

Horwill was relaxed and confident and his words are certain to spark a reaction from the Lions – not least Ireland's talismanic superstar O'Driscoll, who is so desperate to add a Lions' series victory to his list of achievements.

Today's game kicks off at 8.05pm local time, 11.05am Irish time.

Irish Independent

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