Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll fancies a Super Rugby stint before he retires, with the Waratahs favourites to secure his signature.
The 33-year-old confirmed to the Australian Daily Telegraph that he has long contemplated a move that will see him play alongside the finest players in the Southern Hemisphere.
And with former Leinster coach Michael Cheika joining the Waratahs, O’Driscoll could see out his career with a short stint with the Sydney-based franchise.
"What excites me is the challenge of playing against the calibre of player you are playing week-in, week-out down there. That is an exciting prospect," said O’Driscoll of the attraction of Super Rugby.
"But whether all the pieces fit, I don't know. At this moment in time, probably not but 'Cheiks' has my number, so if he wants to give me a call, he knows how to get me.
"Just before the World Cup I thought about the possibility of last year maybe taking a little bit of downtime and playing a year of Super Rugby. The three best teams in the world make up the Super 15.
"You look at the individuals, the calibre of sides, the quality of Super Rugby and the intensity of it - obviously it is a hugely high standard. I am contracted only to June, so whether I play on for another year after that, the body will be able to tell me later on this year."
Any possible move will have to wait until after the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia next year when the 33-year-old’s contract with the Ireland Rugby Union and Leinster ends.
Cheika dismissed the possibility of signing O’Driscoll for the 2013 season but said the veteran would have little trouble adjusting to the higher intensity of the competition should a later deal materialise.
"O'Driscoll is a class act both on and off the field and I'm sure we'll see that class from him during the Lions tour next year," said Cheika.
"Brian is a Leinster man through and through. Sydney is a long way from Dublin, so I'd say the only chance of him playing Super Rugby is if we kidnap him during our tour match against the Lions next June.
"I will say, though, he is one northern hemisphere player who I am sure would be able to be a dominant figure in the southern hemisphere tournament."
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