BRIAN O’DRISCOLL WILL see how he feels after the Six Nations before any consideration of retirement, he has said.
Speaking on Newstalk’s Off the Ball, O’Driscoll, while not ruling out the prospect of an imminent retirement, expressed optimism that he had the ability to continue in the game for some time yet.
“It’s been coming for a few years and people suddenly think ‘oh my god, when can we retire him?’
“But there is an ability, if you look after yourself, to train longer.”
He continued: “There’s a big trust element with the strength and conditioning guys that you’re not going to take the easy option.
“It’s the same as always, I’m just going to wait until the end of the season and see how it feels.
“I’ll make the decision when the time is right.”
In relation to the concussion he suffered during Ireland’s recent encounter with France, he said:
“The head is good. [Training will be] a bit more vigorous tomorrow.
“You usually know if you’re going to pass a fitness test or not – there’s a mugginess to head, but I’ve had none of it this week.”
O’Driscoll explained that the current precautions surrounding concussions meant there was little chance of the player taking any risks.
“I know we’ve got a strong medical team, and there’s no way they’d let a player go out if there were any questions.
“There’s a cog test, which I also did at the start of the year. It’s an elaborate test of shapes, images, numbers, memory recollection and so on.
“I’ll have to do it again and try to score as highly as I could’ve pre-season.”
On the subject of Ireland’s indifferent Six Nations campaign this year, he noted that the side “haven’t had the days to be playing rugby,” highlighting the game against Scotland, in particular, as “frustrating”.
However, he suggested the players are doing their best to ignore the negativity stemming from the side’s poor run of results of late.
“Players read newspapers. The negative questions at press conferences has an effect.
“You try to focus on what you’re in control of. Whatever comes at the end of that, you have to accept.
And speaking in relation to his new role as a father, O’Driscoll was wholly positive.
“It’s a needs must,” he said, on coping with the twin pressures of fatherhood and playing rugby at the highest level. “It’s great though – after games, it does become irrelevant what you do on a Saturday.
“It’s exciting to know you won’t be judged on a performance when you come home.”