Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll has confirmed this year's Six Nations campaign is likely to be his last.
O'Driscoll, 34, has started the most Tests for his country (119) and scored the most tries (45) but has struggled with injuries for the last 18 months.
The centre missed the 2012 Six Nations and the autumn internationals and Jamie Heaslip has been preferred as Ireland captain for this year's campaign.
"There's a strong possibility it could be my last," said O'Driscoll.
"There's every chance it's my last Six Nations but I haven't really allowed myself to start thinking about finishing.
"If you start thinking about it too early, you're one foot into retirement already. I'm contracted [with the Irish Rugby Football Union] until the summer and I'll see how my body feels."
Ireland kick off their Six Nations campaign against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.
Despite his disappointment at being overlooked for the Ireland captaincy, O'Driscoll is still regarded as a leading contender to captain the British and Irish Lions in Australia this summer.
"It would be an honour that would be too big to pass up again," said O'Driscoll on being offered the Lions captaincy.
"I got to do it once, albeit for only 25 seconds of a Test match [O'Driscoll was injured early in the first Test against New Zealand in 2005], so it would be nice to get another opportunity.
"But first things first, I've got to get myself into a position to get myself on the tour and deserve my spot."
Fly-half Ronan O'Gara has won the most caps for Ireland (126) but has 87 starts against O'Driscoll's 119 from 120 caps.
O'Driscoll has captained his country 83 times, a joint-record for any country and won won six Lions caps (scoring one try) and scored 25 tries in 55 Six Nations matches, both tournament records.
He has only missed 10 of Ireland's 65 matches in the Six Nations since 2000, including all five last year.