Ireland’s rugby captain, Brian O’Driscoll, has announced that the 2013 Lions tour to Australia will be his swan song.

The 32-year-old player has said that he wishes to bow out of his professional rugby career in 2013 however he must remain injury free and retain his form until then. If he can manage to get onto the British and Irish Lions team he will have another 18 months of rugby playing in front of him.

O’Driscoll has said that he is dreading the thought of leaving and not being part of a team.

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In an interview with Rugby World magazine he said “Throughout the years, I heard lads talking about the end of their careers and how much they were missing the camaraderie and the craic, and I was thinking they were exaggerating.

“I was saying, ‘That's a bit too much man love', but I can see it now. I can see what they were talking about.

“I've spent over a third of my life playing professional rugby, so it's going to have a huge impact when the day comes that I'm not doing it anymore – and I'm dreading it. I see guys who were hugely popular with Leinster over the years, John Fogarty, Malcolm O'Kelly and others, and because they're not part of everyday training they just can't have that connection.

“They're still tied to certain people, but not the team as a whole. That's all gone.”

O’Driscoll has captained the Irish team to the Six Nations, a Grand Slam and Triple Crown success, while he has also led Leinster to two Heineken Cup titles; however the humble Dublin man still thinks he can do more.

He said “For me, the inspiration is about trying to be the best that you can be, trying to show those who doubt me, the people who think I'm over the hill, that I still have it…I don't want to be someone who just petered off towards the end of his career, I want to go out on a high”.