O’Driscoll issues warning to Ireland team-mates

A frustrated Brian O’Driscoll issued a warning to his Ireland team-mates after their 25-22 defeat by Six Nations Grand Slam holders France saying that their reputations would not save them from being dropped for the next match with Scotland.

The 32-year-old talismanic Irish captain called on them, without naming them individually, to go away from the narrow defeat at Lansdowne Road and reflect on the unforced errors that had cost them victory.

While the Irish outscored the French by three tries to one, they were undone by their ill-discipline which saw the visitors land six penalties.

“The players should go back and look at their performances,” said O’Driscoll, who was captaining his side for the 73rd time.

“They should reflect and conclude that they have to up their game or risk being dropped.

“It’s a case of them either fronting up or losing out.”

Ireland coach Declan Kidney didn’t go quite so far as his skipper but also did not rule out there being changes for the trip to Murrayfield in a fortnight.

“Two weeks is a long time and there is a chance to take a look at the lads who did not play today,” said Kidney, who apart from guiding the Irish to the Grand Slam in 2009 also coached Munster to two European Cups.

“There are Magners League matches this weekend and it might be the case that new players can come in and add a spark that is missing. There is no evidence that it would disrupt the team spirit but there is also an argument for keeping the same XV.”

Kidney, though, was adamant that while there might be changes to the personnel, there would be no change in the expansive game plan he has developed but which has seen the Irish commit many errors in their opening two games, the woeful 13-11 victory over Italy and then the French match.

“They are uncharacteristic errors, but this level of rugby is a big step up from the Magners League and the European Cup,” said Kidney, who was world coach of the year in 2009.

“The way we are playing is the right way forward for us. There is no reason to go for damage limitation rugby because it wouldn’t get us anywhere.”

Kidney took a lot of positives out of the match, though, he admitted that it was an opportunity lost because turnovers and ill-discipline had presented the French with the opportunity to stay in the match and then to go ahead.

“There are a couple of aspects that are going better and I believe we are going in the right direction,” he said.

“However, we cannot hide behind those positives in the fact that our defeat was down to our errors which we have to eradicate.”

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