Six Nations: Brian O’Driscoll keeps open mind on retirement

Brian O’Driscoll may have suggested last week the 2013 RBS Six Nations is likely to be his last, but the Ireland centre insisted yesterday his physical condition will make the ultimate decision.

With his Leinster contract expiring in the summer, the decorated 34-year-old’s future has been a source of ongoing speculation, with the summer Lions tour to Australia offering a potentially fairytale conclusion.

A starring role in Saturday’s 30-22 victory over Wales, however, dispelled any notion of decline as he brilliantly set up one try, scored another and displayed trademark steel in defence.

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Fitness has become his greatest concern as although he has recovered from the ankle surgery that forced him to miss the aut-umn, 14 years at the front line of Test rugby have taken their toll.

When asked about his retirement in the build-up to Wales, O’Driscoll gave the most definitive answer yet that he was participating in his last Six Nations, but yesterday he revealed the decision remains open. “I just want to concentrate on my rugby and enjoy it and live in the moment,” he said. “It will all evolve. The situation will unfold. I’ll have to listen to my body.”

England visit Dublin on Sunday, and O’Driscoll, who has won his last seven games against them, is relishing it. “They’re great games against England. The country’s non-rugby fans probably pay more attention to England matches because of the history between the countries.”