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banner Friday, 27 April, 2001, 17:55 GMT 18:55 UK
O'Driscoll: 'Beware the hype'
Franck Tournaire (l) of France tackles Brian O'Driscoll
A marked man: O'Driscoll enjoys a French welcome
Many commentators had the Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll as one of the certainties for Graham Henry's team for the 2001 tour to Australia.

But the explosive back is never one to count his chickens.

On Friday O'Driscoll gave his reaction to being picked for the Lions squad this year.

"Obviously it means a huge amount. It's something I've always aspired to," he told BBC Sport Online.

"It's been on my thoughts, so I'm over the moon, and I'm really looking forward to a really good tour, an enjoyable tour, and something that's going to last in my memory for a long time."

And the playing conditions will no doubt be a major part of those memories, promising to be rather different in Australia to what he's used to in Ireland.

"I'm certainly not one for getting stuck in a bog and crashing balls up all day. I like a little bit of hard running ground," said O'Driscoll.

"I've been in Australia before and I think the conditions have somewhat suited me, and I'm hopeful that's going to be the case."

Brian O'Driscoll
O'Drsicoll: Look out, Australia

Certain sections of the British press have been declaring O'Driscoll a definite starter for the Lions, but the powerful centre is happy to wait and see.

"The press can hype things up, and particularly with the 97 tour. Everyone goes over an equal, and you have to make an impression over there.

"There's no point in showing your form in your own country or in the Six Nations and then not performing when you go on tour.

"You have to impress the coach enough to pick you for the Test team," he said.

Rod Macqueen, the Australian coach, said on Friday that "this Lions squad is a complete squad. They don't lack anything in any position, and it is the best side that is ever going to go to Australia."

But O'Driscoll takes Macqueen's comments with a pinch of salt.

"As strong as a team might be, a coach that you're going to play against isn't going to come out with that unless he wants to toy with some journalists' heads.

"Obviously every team has a weakness here and there. There's no team that's a complete side, otherwise they'd be ruling the world.

"I think he's just trying to have a little fun and games. Different coaches have different methods, and I think that's Rod Macqueen's," O'Driscoll said.

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