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Brian O'Driscoll optimistic for Ireland's World Cup bid

By Rob Hughes

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.

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 said.

"You always look at positives in any loss - the defeat to Wales might be a blessing in disguise.

"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.

"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.

"If we can be fortunate with not losing too many players to injury I don't see why we can't find ourselves in a semi-final - all bets are off when you get to that point," O'Driscoll added.

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