Monday 19 February 2018

Mowen wants O'Driscoll's last Australian stand to end with 'big loss'

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

AUSTRALIA captain Ben Mowen has admitted that his side will be glad to see the back of Brian O'Driscoll.

Since making his debut against the Wallabies in 1999, the Ireland legend has reserved some of his greatest moments for his meetings with the men in gold jerseys and this evening he will face them for the final time as a player.

The Brumbies back-row (above) has never played against Ireland before, although he faced O'Driscoll during last summer's Lions tour.

He acknowledged that this evening's hosts have had the upper hand between the two sides in recent times. Australia have not won in Dublin since 2005, while they lost their last clash with Ireland in Eden Park at the 2011 World Cup.

Mowen wants to ruin the centre's evening by securing a significant win in what he described as a "massive test".

"Hopefully, we will send him off with a big loss and buy him a pint afterwards," Mowen said after yesterday's Captain's Run at Lansdowne Road.

"I wouldn't say they have a psychological edge, but they definitely have the history, the recent history anyway. The one thing for our guys is we won't be underestimating them at all.

"We have done our homework on them and we know them well. They are very strong in the breakdown, very physical and play a skillful game. It is a massive test and they are a side we respect enormously.

"Any time there is a new coach in, there is a breaking-in period and we've been through that as well. But we were impressed with what they did against Samoa with a mix of power and execution of our skills. It is a big challenge."

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Irish Independent

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