Click here for quotes from Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan ahead of Saturday’s Stade de France showdown with Bernard Laporte’s Les Bleus.
…Eddie O’Sullivan at this week’s team announcement press conference in the Killiney Castle Hotel in Dublin…
EDDIE O’SULLIVAN QUOTES:
– ON THE ISSUE OF CITINGS (V ITALY) –
“I’m not annoyed about it (Italy citing Denis Leamy and accussing Brian O’Driscoll of alleged stamping). I think they (Italy) felt we had a case to answer, and I don’t have a problem bringing it. We raised the issue of the biting as well.
“It’s just part and parcel of the game. We were upset about Simon (Easterby) being bitten, and they were obviously upset about some of the rucking that went on.
“They raised it with the commissioner and we had a case to answer, which was a successful one for Denis (Leamy) on Wednesday. That’s just the way the modern game works – there’s no point in getting our noses bent out of shape over it. It’s nothing personal.
“I spoke to Pierre Berbezier on Saturday night over dinner, and there’s no animosity or bad feeling there.”
– ON THE PERFORMANCE AGAINST ITALY –
“We need to improve our performance in Paris on last weekend. We had a look at it and we could have forced a few changes if we wanted to but I think you’d probably be victimising somebody. I think it was a bad performance in general.
“You couldn’t put your finger on anyone and say anyone played exceptionally well or exceptionally badly, it was just a generally disappointing performance. So I think what you’ve got to do in those situations is you’ve got to give guys a vote of confidence and say go out next week and prove that last week was a glitch.”
– ON FRANCE’S DEFEAT TO SCOTLAND –
“France will be disappointed with their performance. They expected a better performance than they got (in Scotland). They made a lot of unforced errors and I have no doubt there will be a backlash from them.
“They will want to set things right on Saturday in Paris. Anyone who is picked in the French side this weekend will not want to leave anything in the locker.
“Scotland put pressure on France and capitalised on their errors. I am not taking any credit away from Scotland because it was a good victory, but France will have been disappointed with their performance at the same time.”
– ON THE NEED FOR MORE ACCURACY –
“We need to be smarter over where we attack. France are a different team to Italy – they have different strengths and weaknesses, so it will be a slightly different gameplan.
“Again, we will have to be more accurate in our execution. There were times against Italy when we did not finish things off.”
– ON THE ‘IRELAND A’ TEAM SELECTION –
“There was a time when we picked an A’ team off the back of the national side – the best 44 players.
“Our opinion is there is not a lot to be gained by taking 8 or 10 seasoned internationals into an ‘A’ game against France.
“They’ll not become better players because of it and we’re not going to learn any more about them. There’s more to be gained from putting younger players in and giving them the opportunity to gain experience.
“It’s a good ‘A’ team. There are no real rookies in there, they’re all involved in, or are close to, the Heineken Cup with their provinces.
“It’s good for them to get that exposure with the tour to New Zealand and Australia and the Churchill Cup coming up.”
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