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O'Driscoll basks in happy memories

Luke Phillips 12/03/2011 03:06:21 AM Comments (0)

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll is relishing a return to the Millennium Stadium to play Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday.

O'Driscoll's last outing at the Cardiff ground was in 2009, when he scored a try on his way to helping the Irish win their first Grand Slam since 1948 with a 17-15 victory over the Welsh.

The Leinster centre has also been a try-scorer in two other winning outings against Wales in Cardiff, where the Irish have lost only once since 1983 -- when the Welsh won the 2005 Grand Slam.

"It's always nice to come back to places where you've had success. I'll always have fond memories of here," O'Driscoll said.

"It's one of the best stadiums in the world."

The Irish captain played down claims that his side and Wales had failed to hit second gear this year, with a string of largely uninspiring results.

Ireland struggled past Italy (13-11) and Scotland (21-18), and went down 25-22 to France, while Wales convincingly beat Scotland (24-6), failed to impress in a victory against Italy (24-16) and lost to England (26-19).

"Things are pretty marginal at this level," he said. "It's essentially results-driven, and both sides have only lost one game in the championship.

"It's far from catastrophic," he added, blaming the high standards demanded by an increasingly exacting public in both countries.

"We're not a million miles away from where we were two years ago.

"We've scored some really good tries (this year). We just have to be a bit more commanding when we have the ball."

Should Ireland win on Saturday, the team will host England on the final weekend with a shout at the Triple Crown.

"What's attainable is that we're chasing silverware, starting this weekend," O'Driscoll said.

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