Irish Rugby
Brian O'Driscoll confirms retirement plans
ESPN Staff
September 4, 2013
"I've been a professional rugby player all my life, I don't really know anything different," Brian O'Driscoll says © Getty Images

Brian O'Driscoll will retire from professional rugby at the end of the season, saying "this is the 'one more year".

"I had to think long and hard[about playing this season] and there were a number of factors," he told Newstalk. "I had to talk to [wife] Amy and listen to my body. I had to learn if I was still wanted in the Leinster set-up and the Irish set-up. It would be rude of me not to mention the chants from the stands in the RDS of 'one more year', the fact that you're still wanted by the faithful does mean an awful lot, too.

"I remember I had a neck operation after the World Cup in 2011, and there was talk at the time that I might not get back playing from it and it started to hit home.

"I've been a professional rugby player all my life, I don't really know anything different. I don't really know the big bad world that regular people see, and I have been in the process, over the last couple of years, of getting involved in things I'm interested in."

Paul O'Connell and Brian O'Driscoll celebrate the Lions victory, Australia v British & Irish Lions, ANZ Stadium, Sydney, July 6, 2013
Brian O'Driscoll this year finally tasted series success with the British & Irish Lions © Getty Images

O'Driscoll is looking forward to the coming season with reigning Rabo Pro12 champions Leinster and one last chance to beat the All Blacks with Ireland. "I met up with the Irish fitness coach recently and he came up with a great phase of 'managing expectations', when I go in and the fitness coaches know I'm not feeling great, I'm taking it easy and I'm doing it for a reason.

"You want to win everything you are in. It would be lovely to win a championship and a Six Nations and the Heineken Cup. I'm lucky to have won some things in the latter part of my career and most recently a Lions series so it's nice to tick some boxes.

"A big one this year to get myself in shape for and get in the process of being selected is the All Blacks in November. That's one that's failed on multiple occasions, and this is the last chance to get a go at them, so that would be a lovely one if I was to pick one out for the year."

Brian O'Driscoll has scored 47 tries in 133 Tests © PA Photos
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