2013 British & Irish Lions
Australia expect O'Driscoll to spearhead Lions
ESPN Staff
January 7, 2013
Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll leads an attack, Ireland v Wales, Rugby World Cup 2011 quarter-final, Wellington Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand, October 8, 2011
Brian O'Driscoll returned from an ankle injury last weekend and is set to lead Ireland into the forthcoming Six Nations © PA Photos

Australia's coaching coordinator Tony McGahan expects Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll to be at the heart of the British & Irish Lions' quest for a series victory over the Wallabies later this year.

O'Driscoll, a veteran of the Lions' last trip Down Under in 2001, returned to RaboDirect PRO12 duty with Leinster on Friday night having recovered from an ankle injury that threatened to derail his season.

The soon-to-be-34-year-old is now expected to step up his comeback as Leinster look to keep their Heineken Cup hopes alive in the next fortnight before leading Ireland into a Six Nations that McGahan believes will be a stepping stone to what will be O'Driscoll's fourth Lions tour.

"O'Driscoll is a player who can win a match with one moment of magic and I am certain he will be a part of the touring party that travels to Australia," McGahan told the Irish Independent.

The former Munster coach added: "If Brian is fit then he will, I am sure, be a big part of the Lions tour. Brian is a player who commands huge respect on this side of the world. What he has achieved with Leinster and, in particular, with Ireland is well known in Australia.

"He is a player who has certainly been a marvellous player for a long number of years and he continues to be."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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