Ireland form excites O’Driscoll

Date published: March 23 2015

Former captain Brian O'Driscoll believes Ireland are in the perfect position to launch their challenge for Rugby World Cup glory later this year.

Despite missing out on the Grand Slam, last day heroics meant that their 40-10 win in Scotland saw the Irish claim the Six Nations Championship.

And the retired O'Driscoll sees that feat as the ideal preparation for the upcoming global showpiece as they build confidence from 2015's triumph.

"It sets us up really well for the World Cup," he told BBC Sport.

"In Ireland, we don't do middle ground, we're either top of the pile or bottom of the heap.

"If we had won the Grand Slam, going into the World Cup, there would have been an absolutely insane amount of pressure on the boys.

"That being said, we've won the Six Nations and there's still going to be that pressure and that level of expectation.

"But it's been a little bit tempered by the fact we did lose in Cardiff, so hopefully it gives us an opportunity to slip in a fraction more under the radar."

O'Driscoll added: "We're playing with a huge amount of confidence, we've got a very distinct understanding of what our strategy is and what our game plan is, and everyone's singing off the same hymn sheet.

"If we can be fortunate with not losing too many players to injury I don't see why we can't find ourselves in a semi-final – all bets are off when you get to that point."