O'Driscoll back for Ireland - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Driscoll back for Ireland

18/08/2011 03:01:50 PM Comments (0)

Brian O'Driscoll will return to captain a powerful-looking Ireland in their World Cup warm-up match against France in Dublin this weekend.

The 32-year-old Leinster star will resume his partnership with Gordon D'Arcy in the centres as Ireland attempt to bounce back from their 19-12 loss to the French in Bordeaux last weekend.

O'Driscoll had missed that match as well as Ireland's previous warm-up match against Scotland as he recovered from back, neck and shoulder injuries.

"It's great to be back, it's always difficult sitting out any Test matches," O'Driscoll said.

"It's a double-edged sword I suppose, the team can be going well and not missing you, but when it's not winning, you feel you can give them a dig out.

"I never like missing out though."

O'Driscoll said Ireland were determined to stop the rot after consecutive defeats to Scotland and Ireland but stressed more emphasis was being placed on performance with the World Cup less than a month away.

"There is certainly an onus on trying to win this game, definitely," he said.

"We'll try and get that performance to take care of the result. It's about making sure we have the right mentality so the intensity and physicality has to be there.

"We'll treat it as anything but a friendly match, we'll try and stamp our authority on the game early on and play the brand of rugby we hope to play at the World Cup.

"It's important to get a result, but it's not the be all and end all. It's about getting game time and getting up to speed.

"If we didn't win a warm-up game, it's not ideal but it's not the World Cup, the World Cup is in three weeks' time.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has restored five-eighth Jonathan Sexton and scrumhalf Tomas O'Leary after both players sat out the defeat to France last weekend.

Andrew Trimble has retained his place on the right wing with Keith Earls filling in on the opposite flank.

Kidney has meanwhile handed a first start to Munster fullback Felix Jones, who steps up in the absence of Rob Kearney (groin).

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