Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll throws hat in ring for Lions captaincy

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll admits he would jump at the chance to skipper the British and Irish Lions in Australia next year

brian o'driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll has 120 Ireland caps Photo: Paul Walsh

brian o'driscoll

Brian O’Driscoll has admitted he would jump at the chance to skipper the British and Irish Lions in Australia next summer if called upon by head coach Warren Gatland.

O’Driscoll, 33, has toured three times previously but has lost out on each occasion and while he missed Ireland’s recent autumn internationals, he returned to training on Monday following ankle surgery.

Gatland has remained tight-lipped on who his captain will be but O’Driscoll, who skippered the 2005 tour to New Zealand only to suffer a shoulder injury early in the first Test, admits he would love to do so again.

“It would be impossible to turn down the opportunity if I was asked to be captain again, even though there are huge stresses that go with it,” O’Driscoll told the Irish Independent.

“It’s too great an honour to contemplate saying no, but there are so many names being bandied around at the moment that I genuinely don’t take much heed.

“Your captain needs to be starting in the Test team, and it is difficult to say at this stage that there is anyone who is guaranteed to be starting.

“If you said, ‘you can get on the trip to Australia but you are not going to win the series,’ I would have no interest in going.

“I have already done three tours. The only reason to go on another Lions trip would be to win the series, to do something that I haven’t experienced before.

“I don’t want to go on four Lions tours and win none of them. People don’t remember losing Lions tours, they only remember winning tours.”

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