O'Driscoll sets sights on All Blacks
November 3, 2011
O'Driscoll has set his sights on a victory over the World Cup winning All Blacks next year © Getty Images
Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll has rubbished talk of his retirement from international rugby and set his sights on recently crowned world champions New Zealand.
The 32-year-old won the last of his 123 Test caps in Ireland's Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to Wales last month with many suggesting that it would be his last appearance for his country. But the Leinster stalwart insists he is far from finished and intends to write another famous chapter in an already glittering career against the All Blacks next year.
"Just because you get to a certain age it's 'oh, he should go now'," O'Driscoll told the Irish Independent. "It is a bit [irritating] but, whatever. I was still worth my place in the World Cup team and I don't have any aspirations to hang up my boots.
"People were trying to retire me when I was 29 but I still enjoy it too much and still feel as though I have something to offer, and as long as I have something to offer and coaches want to select me, well that combination is important enough for me to continue to play on.
"Maybe I'm not as quick or as sharp as I used to be in the past, but I think I have other attributes that I didn't have back then, so it's about trying to maximise what you do have," added O'Driscoll. "I don't want to look back in three or four years' time and wish that I had played one more year. The other thing is that I don't want to look back and wish that I had one less year. It's about trusting your head and your body, and I am certainly not ready to go yet."
Ireland face a daunting three-Test series against New Zealand in June next year and O'Driscoll revealed that the prospect of a first ever Ireland victory over the All Blacks is a powerful inspiration. "The great thing is that there's always a carrot there," he said. "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."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September