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'I certainly feel I'll be around for a little time yet' - could O'Driscoll line out at the next World Cup?

Absent Ireland skipper is recovering from shoulder surgery.

Image: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images

HE HASN’T GONE away, you know?

Ireland’s rugby stars may be preparing for Sunday’s Six Nations game with Wales at the Aviva Stadium, but they’re doing so without skipper Brian O’Driscoll.

The Leinster centre will miss his first Six Nations campaign since 2000 as he recuperates from a recent shoulder operation.

But O’Driscoll insists he’ll be around for another while yet, even raising the prospect of continuing in top-flight rugby until the next World Cup in England 2015.

“I wouldn’t put any limitations on where I want to go and what I want to achieve,” O’Driscoll tells presenter Matt Cooper, in an interview to be broadcast on Today FM’s Last Word programme this evening.

“I definitely see myself playing hopefully at some stage this year, definitely next year and then you just have to listen to how you’re feeling, both from a body and mind point of view. If you’re in decline, I’d like to go out on a high, but if you still have a lot to offer… I certainly feel I’ll be around for a little time yet.

“You know what, I’m not putting a final date on when I’m finishing because the body will give up before the mind will,” he adds.

O’Driscoll, who is already back in training with the European champions, says the time away from the limelight was needed.

“I feel very motivated at the moment and I feel very rested as well,” the 33-year-old said. “I definitely needed some time off after the World Cup irrespective of whether I needed an operation or not.

“I played a lot of consecutive test matches, in fact I looked back and the last test I’d missed, prior to one of the World Cup warm-ups against England, was Eddie O’Sullivan’s last game – I’d played 28 consecutive tests or something – you can’t keep going that way, I’d played a lot of big European games and the body was very tired.”

Click here for more of TheScore.ie’s Six Nations coverage>

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