IRELAND’S PAUL O’CONNELL has called on the side to end their Paris hoodoo of recent years by focusing on “the simple things” against France tomorrow.
Ireland have only beaten their opponents away from home once since the turn of the millennium – in 2000, when Brian O’Driscoll announced himself on the international rugby scene with a famous hat-trick of tries.
But O’Connell insists there is nothing drastic that needs to be done in order to overturn his side’s dreadful record against the French:
Speaking at a press conference today, he said:
“Tomorrow we just need to make sure we do the simple things well and don’t do what Ireland teams have done in the past and give France a leg-up. That’s the main thing.
“That is what teams do here. They kill you off turnovers, they kill you off counter-attack.
“We must give them as few half chances as we can. That’s what’s hurt us in the past here.”
Meanwhile, coach Declan Kidney echoed his captain’s sentiments, saying:
“Sometimes we think that we have to do something different when we don’t. We’ve done that before, be it at home or away.
“Like France do when they come out with their ‘A’ game any time they are playing in Paris, we just need to come out with ours too.
“Instead of trying to pull something special out of the bag, we need to concentrate and believe in ourselves. If we believe in ourselves we can get a good result.”
The game between the two sides kicks off at 3pm tomorrow, after the initially arranged fixture was controversially postponed last month.