He added: "We were beaten by Australia on tour this summer and they were good.
"They were good in parts this autumn, but that's not the Australia team we'll see in three years time.
"It's hard to play against any side in a World Cup - I learnt that last year. No team makes up the numbers, they come to win."
Reflecting on Ireland's recent World Cup record, O'Driscoll commented: "Sure there's a sense we haven't fulfilled ourselves. We've got out of the pool stages once in the last three World Cups.
Reacting to news of the draw, which has pitted Ireland with Australia and Italy in Pool C, Ireland hooker Rory Best said he was quite satisfied with the outcome.
"It is certainly a more favourable draw for us then the last World Cup," said the Ulster captain, who trained with the province today ahead of their Heineken Cup clash with the Scarlets on Friday.
"Australia will be a lot closer to home than us and Italy are always difficult to play against, but the good thing about this World Cup is it comes down who brings out the performance on the day.
"There is no second chance against these teams. If we beat Australia we could be looking at the quarter-finals.
"If we lose, we could be facing a dogfight with Italy to qualify."
Current Australian captain Stirling Mortlock, asked about the previous World Cup clashes between the Wallabies and Ireland, said: "There has been some decent history between Ireland and Australia in the World Cup and no doubt in three years time we will make some new history."