19 Jun, 06:50
A single point separated the sides as a hard-fought 5th-8th place play-off finished in France's favour at Stade Henri Desgrange on Tuesday night. Check out some photos from Ireland's fourth IRB Junior World Championsip match.
The 44-strong playing party have assembled at their training base just outside of Cardiff to begin preparations for this summer's six-week tour to New Zealand.
Yesterday's session was marked out by motivational talks, team-building exercises and videos of the greatest moments in Lions history and sport in these isles.
O'Driscoll admitted: "Today it hit home what a massive honour it is to be a player and the captain of this squad. The room was littered with captains and leaders from both club and country.
"Seeing so much class together is what makes this so exciting and we know we all have a chance to be involved in something special.
"Everyone realises that from this day forward we cease to be Irish, Scottish, English and Welsh. We become Lions with tremendous history and objectives."
Coach Sir Clive Woodward, who commented on the players being "totally up for it", tour manager Bill Beaumont and players Gareth Thomas, Gordon Bulloch, Martin Corry, O'Connell and two-tour veteran Neil Back also spoke.
Wales captain Thomas has pledged his and the whole squad's support for O'Driscoll as a tour leader.
The Toulouse-based full-back said: "There will be tough times on the tour and good times, but I can guarantee from myself and the other Welsh players we will support Brian 100 percent.
"I know that goes for the whole squad too. We know what a great challenge it will be but there is no book that says you can't enjoy it and play with a smile on your face. We will aim to do just that."
Meanwhile, concerns over the availability of England duo Iain Balshaw and Martin Corry for the opening weeks of the 11-game trip were dampened tonight.
Leeds full-back Balshaw injured a thigh muscle after just four minutes of last weekend's Powergen Cup final against Bath. However, a scan today has shown that the 26-year-old - who made his Test debut against Ireland in 2000 - has suffered only a slight hamstring tear, and not the rumoured quadriceps complication.
An RFU (Rugby Football Union) Disciplinary panel handed down Corry a three-week suspension in Coventry tonight after he was sent off for elbowing England team mate Richard Hill in Leicester's 19-17 Zurich Premiership loss at Saracens on Sunday.
Having been banned for two weeks for stamping on Bath's Jonathan Humphreys earlier this season, England captain Corry will now miss Sunday's Heineken Cup semi-final tie with Toulouse, but none of the Lions tour fixtures.
There was good news for Woodward and his team of coaches on Friday night as England's 2003 World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson made his fourth comeback bid of the season, coming off the bench to play 50 minutes for Newcastle Falcons in their 23-22 loss at Northampton.