British and Irish Lions 2013: Brian O’Driscoll reveals selection nerves
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll reveals that he was in the dark over his British and Irish Lions selection just like everyone else
He may be the oldest member of the squad and a former captain, but Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll admits he was in the dark over his British and Irish Lions selection just like everyone else.
O’Driscoll – an ever present in Ireland’s Six Nations campaign this year – was last week named in Warren Gatland’s 37-man touring party for the trip to Australia, and will embark on his fourth Lions tour when he heads Down Under.
At 34, it is set to be the former Ireland and Lions captain’s last tour and he admits winning is all that counts as he bids to improve on a record that currently includes just one win from his six tests in a Lions jersey.
And while it will be a win at all costs mentality that the Leinster ace adopts in Australia, he revealed he was sweating on his selection just like everyone else.
“I was very hopeful but there’s always an element of doubt because you don’t know what a coach is thinking,” O’Driscoll told the Irish Examiner.
“In 2005 I was captain so I knew I was in, and in 2009 I was told by [coach] Ian McGeechan that I wasn’t going to be captain so I knew he wasn’t going to drop me from ‘You’re not captain’ to ‘By the way, you’re not in the squad’ in separate conversations.
“But this time around there’d been radio silence from Warren Gatland so when you don’t hear there’s always an element of doubt.
“But the job isn’t done, you judge yourself not on being selected but on winning things, and it took me a long time in my career to win anything of great substance.
“I won a couple of triple crowns with Ireland throughout the 2000s then finally won a [Six Nations] Grand Slam and managed to win a couple of Heineken Cups, but it’s come later in my career.
“And I’m only too happy that if I have to wait for a fourth tour to be part of a winning Test series team then so be it. It will have been worth the wait.”