19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
...Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll takes part in a TV interview at the Killiney Castle Hotel...
See below for the thoughts of Ireland centre and captain Brian O'Driscoll ahead of Saturday's Guinness Autumn Test match against South Africa.
- ON IRELAND'S PROGRESS -
"I think we have developed a lot in the past two or three seasons - in fact I have a feeling we've even developed since last year's Six Nations. Okay we didn't win on the summer tour but we pushed the Kiwis very close on two occasions.
"People took stock that those games were actually there for the winning and when you get near losses like that it makes you push that extra yard to win the next time.
"Maybe sides like Ireland go through experiences like that in order to believe you can beat the top sides and play well on a consistent basis. I think we're getting to that place."
- ON THE FEELING WITHIN THE SQUAD -
"You look at the people who are not up for selection through injury and there's really only Fla (Jerry Flannery). The boys seem in good shape and the confidence is reasonably high. That doesn't count for much when you get out there on the field but it's where you want to be, at the same time.
"The feel-good factor is definitely there but we really have to play well if we're going to beat South Africa like we did two years ago. They will be coming here quietly confident as well because, don't forget - they beat Australia and New Zealand in their last two Tri-Nations matches.
"It should make for a great game because it will be two confident sides going toe-to-toe."
...O'Driscoll will captain Ireland for the 31st time on Saturday...
- ON FACING SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE OPPOSITION -
"You can't expect to win matches straight up - you have to realise that if you play well, you will win. That's what it comes down to. South Africa won't come here and lie down, allowing us to take over. We have to play against these sides.
"The inferiority complex against the Southern Hemisphere teams is something we're trying to put behind us. Whether it's dead and buried yet, we'll soon see.
"There has always been a core group of guys who believed they could win the big games, but now there are more guys who believe it.
"It's when you get that total belief from 1 to 15 that you do it more consistently and that's what we need to do - we need to beat these big sides more consistently if we're to do it in a World Cup."
- ON SOUTH AFRICAN COACH JAKE WHITE -
"Jake has been very complimentary this week, which is lovely of him. We like to think we're at a stage now where we don't need anything to motivate us. The opportunity to win a Test match at Lansdowne Road is enough of a carrot for us."
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