O’Driscoll decides to play on

first_img Press Association Brian O’Driscoll will continue to play for Ireland and Leinster next season after agreeing a new one-year deal with the Irish Rugby Football Union. O’Driscoll’s contract, which was set to expire after the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia this summer, has been extended until the end of June 2014. “I want to thank the IRFU and Leinster for allowing me the time to think about my future and discuss my options with my family,” O’Driscoll said. center_img The decision concludes the debate over O’Driscoll’s future amid intense speculation that he would retire this summer. The 34-year-old hinted strongly during the RBS 6 Nations that this season would be the climax to his decorated career, with his fitness and family commitments having the ultimate say. But the recent appointment of Joe Schmidt to succeed Declan Kidney as Ireland’s new head coach has contributed towards his willingness to play on for a further year. “The support my family and the Irish and Leinster fans have shown me over the past few months, and indeed years, has been phenomenal and I’m now very much looking forward to one more year playing with Ireland and Leinster,” he said. O’Driscoll was a candidate to lead the forthcoming Lions tour and initially led the betting for the post at the start of the Six Nations, only for his form to dip. He was included among the 37 players named by head coach Warren Gatland last month and is a leading contender to make the Test team on what will be his fourth Lions tour. Schmidt, who has worked closely with O’Driscoll at Leinster, has welcomed his decision. “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,” Schmidt said. “He’s played well again this season and other players continue to learn from him.” last_img read more

Men’s tennis falls to No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus

first_img“[Bulis and Smith did an] exceptional job, [we are] very proud of them,” Masi said. “Unfortunately, we just came up short.” USC turns its focus to Tuesday’s match against Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., and the ITA National Team Indoor Tournament, also set in Madison, Friday through Monday. The No. 1 USC men’s tennis team traveled to Columbus, Ohio to take on No. 2 Ohio State Sunday, falling 4-2 to the Buckeyes in a tightly contested matchup. The Buckeyes started off strong, winning two of their three doubles matches against USC. Ohio State’s partnership of No. 70 sophomore James Trotter and freshman Justin Boulais narrowly beat the team of Bulis and Holt 7-6 in a tiebreaker. Additionally, No. 31 redshirt senior Kyle Seelig and No. 22 freshman Cannon Kingsley also beat the Trojans’ pair of Dostanic and Frye, 6-4.  Masi attributed some of the issues the Trojans faced in Columbus to the fact that the matches were played indoors. USC has tended to play better on outdoor courts like those at David X. Marks Tennis Stadium, the Trojans’ home courts.  Down 0-1, the Trojans tried to bounce back in singles play with Cukierman set to face off against Kingsley. However, the nation’s top player was upset by the freshman Buckeye, losing in straight sets 6-4 and 6-2. Building off the surprising win, No. 19 junior John McNally defeated Holt in 6-3 and 6-4 sets. It was Holt’s first loss of the season as the senior entered the weekend at 11-0 in doubles play and 7-0 in singles play on the season. Smith kept the Trojans alive by knocking off Seelig in a tough match, winning 3-6, 6-1 and 6-4. Masi also praised Smith for his work against the ranked opponent. “Riley obviously coming back from a set behind … winning in three sets — that was awesome,” Masi said. However, the Trojans’ comeback attempt fell short there. Dostanic fell to Trotter 6-4, 6-7 (4) and 6-2 win to put USC away. Senior Riley Smith was one of two Trojans to win their match at Ohio State. Smith defeated Ohio State redshirt senior Kyle Seelig. (Daily Trojan file photo) USC brought their top players to the contest: No. 1 junior Daniel Cukierman, No. 15 sophomore Mor Bulis, No. 24 senior Brandon Holt, No. 33 senior Riley Smith, No. 65 freshman Stefan Dostanic, No. 69 freshman Ryder Jackson and sophomore Bradley Frye.  Ohio State was coming off a big win against then-No.1 Texas Feb. 1 and now looked to challenge the Trojans on their home courts.  However, USC fought back. First, Bulis was able to win easily against Boulais in two straight 6-2 sets. Head coach Brett Masi applauded Bulis’ impressive performance.  Despite the disappointing outcome and USC likely losing its top seed, Masi had some positive takeaways from the weekend. Overall, he was impressed by both Bulis and Smith and their contributions to the team effort. “They struggled with the [climate] elements — I think everybody did,” Masi said about the indoor setting. “It is just getting used to the elements of playing in different environments. Like indoors, as opposed to playing outdoors, is just a different type of tennis, and [we] got to get acclimated to it.” “Mor did a really good job in his singles match,” Masi said. “[He] played a great match, beating [Boulais], two in two [sets].”  last_img read more