Brian O’Driscoll believes Ireland have the perfect platform to take the World Cup by storm after clinching the RBS 6 Nations title.
The former Ireland skipper was at the centre of the narrative 12 months ago as Joe Schmidt’s team carried off the trophy with victory over France in Paris.
It was his final international match and meant that this year, as Ireland were clinching a successful defence, O’Driscoll was with friends and family watching on television as Ireland thrashed Scotland 40-10 at Murrayfield.
Defeat to Wales in their previous outing meant the Grand Slam was not on, and Ireland had a nervous wait to discover whether England could overturn a 26-point differential in their late Twickenham clash with France.
England fell narrowly short so Ireland were able to celebrate long into the night, and now thoughts turn to the World Cup campaign later in the year.
“I think it sets us up really well,” O’Driscoll told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme,.
“You always look at positives in any loss – the defeat to Wales might be a blessing in disguise.
“In Ireland we don’t do middle ground: we’re either top of the pile or bottom of the heap.
“If we had won the Grand Slam, going into the World Cup, there would have been an absolutely insane amount of pressure on the boys.
“That being said, we’ve won the Six Nations and there’s still going to be that pressure and that level of expectation.
“But it’s been a little bit tempered by the fact we did lose last week, so hopefully it gives us an opportunity to slip in a fraction more under the radar.
“We’re playing with a huge amount of confidence, we’ve got a very distinct understanding of what our strategy is and what our game plan is, and everyone’s singing off the same hymn sheet.”
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