Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll was not getting carried away about the possibility of him playing in a fourth Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in three years’ time. When the tournament comes around, O’Driscoll will be 32 but is hopeful of still being around to answer ‘Ireland’s Call’.
Speaking in the aftermath of Monday’s 2011 RWC draw in London, Brian O’Driscoll said: “I have learnt to not look too far ahead. The game can be fickle at times and I am enjoying the now and not looking that far ahead.
“When the body gets a bit older you learn to appreciate each game as it comes and if in three years time I have the wherewithal to play at this level and form included, it would be fantastic to play in a fourth World Cup ”
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.
“That’s not something to shout from the rafters. We want to do better than that but we won’t be shouting our ambitions from the rafters.”
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.”