One more year for O'Driscoll
Updated: Thursday, 16 May 2013 22:10
Ireland and Leinster star Brian O'Driscoll has signed a new one-year contract with the IRFU which will see him continue to play for both club and country until June 2014.
There had been much speculation that O'Driscoll was ready to call time on a glittering career at the end of this year's British and Irish Lions tour.
However growing calls for him to play for another year from both those within the game and supporters have borne fruit.
O'Driscoll has already won a Grand Slam, four triple crowns, three Heineken Cups and two RaboDirect Pro 12 (Celtic League) championships and can add an Amlin Challenge Cup title to those honours this weekend as Leinster take on Stade Francais in the final.
The centre admitted that he had taken time to consider his future and paid tribute to the supporters who had been hugely vocal in their calls for him to play on.
"I want to thank the IRFU and Leinster for allowing me the time to think about my future and discuss my options with my family," O'Driscoll said.
"The support my family and the Irish and Leinster fans have shown me over the past few months, and indeed years, has been phenomenal and I am now very much looking forward to one more year playing with Ireland and Leinster."
Newly installed Ireland manager Joe Schmidt welcomed the news and is delighted to be able to call on a player he relied heavily on during his time as Leinster head coach.
"It's great that Brian has agreed to continue playing. He's an inspirational player, not only on the pitch, but also on the training ground," Schmidt said.
"He's played well again this season and other players continue to learn from him. I know that every squad of which he is a part will profit from his qualities both as a rugby player and a person."
LIVE: AMLIN CUP FINAL
Live radio coverage of Leinster v Stade Francais on Game On from 19:00 on Friday 17 May on RTÉ 2fm and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).