sport

O'Driscoll motivated by Lions

Brian O'Driscoll claims to have "absolutely not" been thinking about the Lions captaincy, but the tour to Australia is still in his mind.

The Ireland centre has been installed as favourite to regain the post he filled in New Zealand eight years ago following his starring role in Saturday's 30-22 Six Nations victory over Wales.

England's visit to Dublin this weekend offers another opportunity to see off a rival at outside centre for the Test series against the Wallabies, with Manu Tuilagi his likely opposite number eight days after Welshman Jonathan Davies was outclassed.

High praise greeted his performance in the championship opener at the Millennium Stadium, but O'Driscoll is far too seasoned a campaigner to take notice of the shifting sands of armchair Lions selection.

"There's more chat about the Lions now, more column inches. Every week there are new Lions teams for that week," he said.

"You're not even flavour of the month now, you're flavour of the moment.

"It's not just one month on, one month off, now this is happening weekly and daily. You're in the frame, then you're gone, forgotten about.

"You have to take it all with a pinch of salt. I like to think I am a decent judge of whether I'm in the mix or not.

"It's a huge honour to be a Lion - among the top 35 players in the four nations.

"It is definitely an added incentive in the Six Nations in a Lions year, so you get your performances to as high a level as you can."

O'Driscoll has toured Australia, New Zealand and South Africa with the Lions but has never been involved in a victorious Test series, a statistic he is eager to correct this summer.

"Unfinished business?" he said. "I've been very lucky with what I've managed to achieve, particularly in the latter part of my career, in terms of silverware.

"But would I really love to be part of a winning Test series? Absolutely. Do I want to go on another tour and not win the series? Not really.

"I didn't win a World Cup, but I'm not going to win one now, so there's a second unticked box!"