O’Driscoll captains Ireland vs USA in World Cup

Brian O’Driscoll will become the first Ireland player to feature at four Rugby World Cups when he leads Ireland in their Rugby World Cup opener against the USA on Sunday.

O’Driscoll, who made his World Cup debut against the Americans in 1999, already
holds the Ireland record for World Cup matches with 13 appearances and for tries
scored with eight.

It will also be O’Driscoll’s 114th test appearance for Ireland and that makes
him the most experienced of the 600 players present at this World Cup.

Despite the fact that Ireland have sent the oldest squad to the 2011 Rugby
World Cup of the 20 teams competing, they will not break the Irish record for
the oldest starting XV, which is held by the side that played Georgia at the
2007 World Cup.

“Teams that have won the World Cup have played a simple, very effective
rugby. I hope we can play a physical, uncompromising brand,” said O’Driscoll
of his hopes for Ireland who lost all four of their buildup games.

Gordon D’Arcy was named to partner O’Driscoll in midfield while coach Declan
Kidney opted for the inexperienced Conor Murray at scrum-half in place of Eoin
Reddan.

Commmenting on his choice of Limerick’s Murray, Kidney said: “We did say
we would judge it on a number of things: how the guys finished last season,
how they went in pre-season.

“Obviously he finished last season strong, he has done well in pre-season
and he deserves a chance to bring his own skill set to the game.”

The Ireland squad relocated from their Queenstown training base to New Plymouth
on the west coast of the North Island on Thursday morning.

The other Pool C teams are second-ranked Australia, Italy and Russia with Ireland
looking to improve on the last World Cup when they failed tro make it out of
the group stages.

O’Driscoll already holds the national record for most World Cup matches (13) and tries (6).

Ireland


Geordan Murphy; Tommy Bowe, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Keith Earls; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Jamie Heaslip, Shane Jennings, Stephen Ferris; Paul O’Connell, Donncha O’Callagha; Mike Ross, Rory Best, Tom Court


Replacements: Jerry Flannery, Tony Buckley, Donnacha Ryan, Denis Leamy, Eoin Reddan, Sean O’Brien, Andrew Trimble

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