Irish Rugby
O'Driscoll anticipates ferocious Test
ESPNscrum Staff
August 9, 2011
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll looks for an opening, Scotland v Ireland, Six Nations, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland, February 27, 2011
O'Driscoll believes France will be very competitive in all facets of their game © Getty Images

Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll has sounded a rallying call to his team-mates to step-up their intensity against France on Saturday.

O'Driscoll has identified the breakdown as the key battleground for the tournament in New Zealand, which begins on September 9. Ireland's build-up continues with their trip to Bordeaux in the first of a double header against France.

O'Driscoll is braced for a challenging evening but believes the contest will provide an ideal workout as the countdown to the World Cup continues. "On Saturday we'll get exactly what we always do from French teams," he said.

"They are very physical and when they get that front foot ball they're a very difficult team to contain. A lot of it will be about trying to be physical. A big aspect of this World Cup and the warm-up games will be the breakdown.

"It will be about who wins the collisions and who gets quick ruck ball because that's the be-all and end-all of the game these days. If you create quick ruck ball defences don't have time to realign, which is how you score tries and get line breaks.

"There will be an onus on all sides to get the breakdown work spot on."

Ireland are expected to ring the changes ahead of Saturday's Test after fielding a largely second-string side against Scotland in their first World Cup warm-up match at Murrayfield last Saturday. And O'Driscoll will hope to be included in the line-up after declaring himself fit on Monday.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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