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O'Driscoll: Competition good for us


Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll insists Ireland are benefiting from the competition for places at half-back.

The Irish enter Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield with a new half-back pairing of Ronan O'Gara and Eoin Reddan. O'Gara has been selected ahead of Jonathan Sexton, who features on the bench, while Reddan has profited from the back injury sustained by Tomas O'Leary.

"In Ronan and Jonathan we've got two fly-halves who are playing very well. They're both really controlling figures," said O'Driscoll. "It's great that they're competing for one position and bringing the best out of one another."

He added: "Irrespective of who's playing, our gameplan doesn't change.

"It's the same at scrum-half - their games may vary in style but they bring ambition, hunger and the knowledge about how we want to play the game."

Tommy Bowe also returns for Ireland after recovering from the knee injury that forced him to miss the opening two matches of the Six Nations.

"Tommy's been great for us over the last couple of years in particular," said O'Driscoll. "Since becoming a regular in the team he's scored a lot of important tries for us and has been involved in big moments.

"It's great to have a guy of that experience coming back in. Sometimes you rely on that experience to produce on the big occasion."

Murrayfield has been a happy hunting ground for Ireland, who have won on six of their last seven visits to Edinburgh, and O'Driscoll enjoys the experience.

"It's strange when you're playing there provincially with just 3,000 or 4,000 people there," he said. "But invariably when it comes to internationals it's close to being full."

PA Media