Brian O'Driscoll reveals the conversation with Joe Schmidt that should give all of us confidence
Speaking on Off The Ball on Newstalk this evening, O'Driscoll revealed the content of a discussion he had with the Ireland Head Coach last weekend ahead of their 50-7 victory over Canada.
Much had been made of Ireland's mixed form in their warm-up encounters, especially following their defeats to Wales and England, but Schmidt told Ireland's leading tryscorer that he simply wanted game time for his players and was keeping his World Cup plans concealed.
"He didn't want to show their hand," he said
"He wasn't concerned at all about the results, he knew they were in good shape and the bespoke game plans for each of the teams in the Pool Stages, he'd be able to implement them and Canada doing any analysis on Ireland, wouldn't have been able to see anything that was coming at them.
"They were trying to get under the radar, even the social media channels... it was under the radars.
"Any time there was an open session, they would do defensive sets or fitness. They were showing nothing at all.
"No that paranoia had kicked in but no one was allowed at the training base in Carton House. People wandering up and watching sessions.. that's gone."
Joe Schmidt has made 12 changes to his starting XV for the clash with Romania on Sunday and O'Driscoll is delighted to see Cian Healy back in from the kick-off.
"It's huge for Ireland and Cian Healy, he is one of the guys who needs minutes. He'll be looking at getting 60 minutes. We've only two looseheads so we have to box clever," he added.
"He's another ball carrier, and four years ago we had a problem when Wales marked Sean O'Brien and we had no alternative, now we have Iain Henderson who has cemented his place as the second second row, great ball carrier.
"Knowing that Jack McGrath will do a brilliant job for 55 minutes, to bring that off the bench. Bench players are told by Joe to come on and improve things."
The big story of the week was undoubtedly the Japanese win over South Africa and BOD believes the result bodes well for Ireland.
"With the Japanese result there were two things; South Africa were poor but I don't think they were allowed play and Japan were very good in their offence, which historically they haven't been," he continued
"Their skill level was the real eyecatcher, the quality of their passing. Japan are always known for having a certain amount of imports but you could see the difference they made, and the guys they had coming off the bench as well.
"To play two Test matches in four or five days is a big ask.
"That's why we're in really good position, you can tell that Eddie Jones and Steve Borthwick have done a really good job and that's the same with Ireland."