O'Driscoll eyes maiden All Blacks scalp

PA Sport
Brian O'Driscoll is eyeing a first Irish win against New Zealand in 25 attempts

View photo

Brian O'Driscoll is eyeing a first Irish win against New Zealand in 25 attempts

Captain Brian O'Driscoll is hoping a side containing two debutants can become the first Ireland team to beat New Zealand.

Ireland have yet to taste success against the All Blacks in 24 attempts and will again be second favourites when they line up against the world champions at Eden Park on Saturday.

"At some stage in the future, whether it is this year, next year or in 20 years' time, an Irish team is going to beat the All Blacks before the world implodes," he said."We just have to make sure to try and make it now rather than waiting for our kids, or our kids' kids to see it happen."

Coach Declan Kidney named his team on Friday, with uncapped pair Simon Zebo and Declan Fitzpatrick taking their places on the left wing and at tighthead prop respectively.

O'Driscoll added: "I've managed to tick a lot of boxes along the way with the Irish side: beating the other southern hemisphere nations, obviously beating Australia (at Eden Park) last year. But this is one that has eluded us - this group of players, and Irish players in general. It speaks volumes for the enormity of the challenge in front of us.

"You are playing the world champions in the first game since they, rightly, won the crown so it is a huge challenge."

Elsewhere in the XV, Keith Earls will partner O'Driscoll in the centre and Fergus McFadden has been named on the right wing.

Dan Tuohy joins Donnacha Ryan in the second row and Peter O'Mahony comes in to the back row alongside Leinster duo Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip. Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan form the half-back axis.

Fitzpatrick's front-row partners are Rory Best and Cian Healy.

View Comments