Brian O'Driscoll out of Amlin Cup final but signs up for one more year with Leinster

 

Brian O'Driscoll will miss tomorrow night's Amlin Cup final having failed to recover from a back injury but Ireland's talismanic centre is far from finished. O'Driscoll signed a new one-year deal to play on for Leinster and his country after this summer's fourth tour with the British and Irish Lions.

O'Driscoll collected his 125th cap in Ireland's closing Six Nations defeat in Rome. It was thought by many to have been his farewell outing – with his last significant act in a green shirt being sent to the sin-bin. But Joe Schmidt's elevation from coaching Leinster, who take on Stade Français in Dublin, to the Ireland post is believed to have helped persuade him to play on.

The 34-year-old, who made his Ireland debut last century, had promised a decision by July once his Lions duties were done. Instead he has settled his future before joining up with the Lions following next weekend's RaboDirect Pro 12 final against Ulster. The esteem in which he is still held was summed up by Jamie Roberts, his fellow Lions centre in South Africa four years ago and probable partner in Australia this summer, who described the four centres selected by Warren Gatland as the "father and his three disciples".

It is a fillip for Schmidt who takes over the Ireland job after their worst Six Nations in 14 years – an opening game victory in Wales was followed by defeats to Scotland and Italy. "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," said Schmidt.

O'Driscoll missed the first Lions get together in London on Monday to remain in Dublin for treatment on a troublesome back and has not recovered in time for tonight's game. Leinster remain hopeful he will play against Ulster. Lions coach Gatland, who wants every player to be fit when they step on the plane to Hong Kong on 27 May, will be a concerned observer of O'Driscoll's progress, as he will of tonight's match which features five other Lions; Rob Kearney, Jonathan Sexton, Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip start while Cian Healy is on the bench.

The Lions are based in Dublin from Monday for a training week.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam