O’Driscoll honoured to be Lions skipper

Brian O'Driscoll has described winning the captaincy of the Lions as a "tremendous honour". [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Brian O’Driscoll has described winning the captaincy of the Lions as a "tremendous honour".

The Leinster stalwart will be Ireland’s first Lions captain since 1983 and he is at the forefront of an 11-strong Irish contingent in Sir Clive Woodward’s squad for the tour of New Zealand.

O’Driscoll said: "It is a tremendous honour to be asked to be Lions captain and lead a squad of so many great players.

"When you look at the list of past Lions captains that include the likes of Martin Johnson and Willie John McBride, it is humbling. But I am relishing the challenge, and I will give it everything I have.

"The Lions has such a powerful history, and Clive will move it on again.

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"The level of preparation and professionalism will ensure this tour combines the inspiration of Lions history, while being at the cutting edge of modern sport."

O’Driscoll, who captained Ireland in the last two Six Nations, will find more than a few familiar faces on the tour with Irishmen outnumbered only by Englishmen in the 44-strong squad.

And he does not expect captaining the Lions to be a more demanding task than leading Ireland.

He said: "I think the Lions is such a different entity. We kick each other sideways in the Six Nations but it’s all forgotten as we come together for the tour.

"We’ve all been Irish, Scotsmen, English and Welsh until today when we come together as one team. I don’t anticipate it being difficult to bring the team together."

The 26-year-old toured with the Lions in 2001 when they were beaten 2-1 in the series against Australia.

And he hopes the experience will stand him in good stead.

"I won’t be surprised by the standard of training which hit me for six in 2001 because the standard is phenomenal.

"You have to be at your best because you’re made to look like an idiot otherwise.

"I think you always have to take positives out of defeats. It was very marginal – we were up in the second Test and a simple intercepted pass changed the game.

"Taking the positives from the tour – we were very much underdogs and played some fantastic rugby in the first Test."

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