10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
O'Sullivan's Ireland are in the Pool of Death - Pool A - with Australia and Argentina. All three teams are ranked in the top eight in the world. Yet only two will make the quarter finals.
What's going to happen is that there's going to be a good team not in the last eight who should be the Irish coach says.
The strange thing for me is the pool was seeded on the last World Cup. That was four years ago.the rugby landscape has changed in the last four years. Argentina has improved dramatically and we have as well. What it means is that you are going to have teams in the quarter finals who are not as good as Ireland or Argentina.
It's an anomaly that should not happen. I think Australia, Argentina and Ireland from our pool should be in the quarters
Ireland started the tournament ranked 3 with the Wallabies at 4 and Argentina at 7.
As to the IRB's ranking system, O'Sullivan says: I guess what it recognises is that we have been an improving side for the last two years so it was a boost to everyone's confidence to be ranked third in the world. We are going in the right direction.
I think the rankings upset Australia more than anyone else, though. One of the things we've proven, however, in the last few years is that if we get things right on the day, we can take anyone out. We've beaten Australia and almost beat the All Blacks in Dunedin (losing 15-6) in the last year and beat France in the Six Nations. I guess the ranking is one of those things. The IRB make them, we don't.