Jump to main content



O’Driscoll Backs Wallace For Rome Trip

O’Driscoll Backs Wallace For Rome Trip

Paddy Wallace’s full RBS 6 Nations debut against France was disrupted by the facial injury he sustained in the first half. But Wallace did enough to retain his starting place for the Italy game and Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll is looking forward to lining out alongside the Ulsterman once again.

Brian O’Driscoll and Paddy Wallace forged an impressive centre partnership during the summer tour to New Zealand and Australia and Declan Kidney paired the former UCD team-mates up again for the RBS 6 Nations opener against France.

Wallace took a knock to the face which left him bloodied and bruised and needing 16 stitches. But the Belfast man has trained without problems this week and O’Driscoll is looking forward to seeing how the pair fair against Italy this weekend.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

“I thought our partnership went reasonably well against France,” O’Driscoll said.

“Paddy and myself know each other a long time. We’ve played under ge together – granted that was at 10 and 12 – we’ve played at college together and Paddy has been involved with the national set-up for a long time so you get to train together quite a lot.

“I think the more we play together the better we’ll get. Paddy brings some good traits to the inside centre berth.

“I always look forward to playing with him because he is an exciting player to play with.”

The Italian team to play Ireland has been announced and there are a number of changes to the side that lost 36-11 to England, with Mauro Bergamasco moved from scrum half back to openside flanker as expected.

O’Driscoll had some sympathy for noted flanker Bergamasco, who was tried out by coach Nick Mallett at Twickenham as a fledging scrum half.

“Having someone who has never played half-back in the international arena and make a first start was a very tough ask,” O’Driscoll admitted.

“I think other aspects of another scrum half’s play might have saved Italy – certainly a couple of the scores.

“You’ll look at it that way, and take two, possibly three, scores away from the English and it would have been a hell of a lot tighter a game.

“Italy always take a lot of beating and something that they really developed is that they’re never beaten – they’ll always come back at you.

“Even a couple years ago (in Rome) when we put 50 points on them, they were the last ones to score in the game. They’ll fight and fight and fight. It’s not over until it’s over.”