IRELAND CENTRE BRIAN O’DRISCOLL is raring to go ahead of his final Six Nations tournament and the injury news is extremely positive for his coach.
O’Driscoll faced the press this afternoon at Carton House and insisted he will not allow emotion to get in the way of what he confirmed was definitely his final Six Nations. While Ireland coach Joe Schmidt will be pleased to hear that his midfield general is focused on going out in a blaze of glory, the positive injury news will hearten him more.
All 34 players named in the Irish squad for home clashes with Scotland and Wales have reported fit for duty. All trained today, including Jonny Sexton and his freshly stitched head. The out-half had a run-in with a Samoan knee in Racing Métro’s weekend win over Toulouse. Gordon D’Arcy, Eoin Reddan and Peter O’Mahony were on a reduced training schedule last week but have returned to full drills.
Ireland team manager Mick Kearney revealed that Tommy Bowe and Donnacha Ryan have both been asked to prove themselves with Ulster and Munster, respectively, in the Pro12. The duo may return to the Ireland squad for the away trip to Twickenham.
O’Driscoll confirmed, perhaps for the final time, that this Six Nations will indeed be his last. He said:
I was really unsure last year and there were strange emotions but it is nice knowing that you can empty the tank in this Six Nations, knowing it will definitely be the last one.”
“I had a really good week’s training last week,” he added. “Invariably, you are carrying something over from Rounds 5 and 6 of Europe and, in that weeks’ training, you don’t get out of it what [you want]. But I did a full weeks’ training and took part in what everyone else did. I’ve had a good weekend’s rest and I’m raring to go now.”