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‘Everyone wants to go out on their own terms’: Fergie’s farewell gives BOD plenty to ponder

Brian O’Driscoll on Ireland’s new boss, Leinster’s new boss — and whether or not he’ll be around to work with them next season.

Brian O'Driscoll is an adidas ambassador and has been selected for the British & Irish Lions squad. The Lions shirt is available from adidas.ie and Elverys stores nationwide. Join the conversation @adidasUK
Brian O'Driscoll is an adidas ambassador and has been selected for the British & Irish Lions squad. The Lions shirt is available from adidas.ie and Elverys stores nationwide. Join the conversation @adidasUK
Image: INPHO

IN A WEEK dominated by one sporting giant’s retirement, Brian O’Driscoll again finds himself sitting down to field questions about his own future.

If Alex Ferguson’s short, sharp decision proved anything it was the benefit of playing out the inevitable endgame to your own tune and in your own time.

“He probably did it the best possible way he could because he didn’t have these scenarios where he was constantly answering questions,” O’Driscoll muses as he tackles the latest round of retirement speculation.

“‘When’s it gonna be, when’s it gonna be?’ It was completely done on his terms.

“I’m probably guilty of that myself because I created a bit of uncertainty a while ago by answering questions a little too honestly. He’s been able to go about his business the way he’s wanted to and call the shots on his terms.”

And so while Ferguson is able to skip out on his traditional pre-match briefing ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Swansea this weekend, O’Driscoll is once again talking through his own dilemma and how Joe Schmidt, baby Sadie, the Lions tour and the terrace chants of “one more year” all fit together in a complex jigsaw.

Last week the picture became a fraction clearer when O’Driscoll was named in Warren Gatland’s 37-man Lions squad for the tour of Australia. Now more than ever, it appears that the summer months will be the acid test in deciding whether or not he is ready to dust off the boots for another season.

(INPHO)

“It’s better they shout ‘one more year’ than ‘one less year,’” he laughs when asked about the communal plea that rolled off the RDS stands after his try against Biarritz. “I don’t think that will be a deciding factor in things but it adds a little bit to the plus side of hanging in there.

“Nothing’s changed in me coming to a decision. I’m having a think about it and seeing how I feel as the tour progresses and hopefully I’ll be able to make a call.

Part of it is that I know what’s expected of you on tour and how much it does draw from you training at that level of intensity. That’s part of the excitement, but also what the tour takes from you is that training with that calibre of player day in, day out means you have to bring your A game every single day. That’s both mentally and physically taxing.

“I just want to know that I’m still capable of doing it day in, day out with that calibre of player. If I’m able to do that through the course of the tour, maybe I’ll be a bit clearer as to what way I want to look at next year.”

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