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Ireland closing in on special feat


Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll has repeated Ireland's mantra that the team is close to producing a special performance.

The Irish host Grand Slam chasing England at Aviva Stadium on Saturday in the second of three matches staged on the final day of the RBS 6 Nations. They have won just two of their four games and must beat England to avoid equalling their worst performance in the championship since Italy joined in 2000.

But O'Driscoll believes that from the wreckage of a frustrating period dating back to last year's Six Nations will emerge a display worthy of their potential, and he said: "It might not happen for us in this Six Nations and we've run out of games, but we feel that if we keep working as hard as we have done, it will eventually happen for us."

He added: "We've been good for 30-40-50 minutes, but not that full 80. I genuinely believe that performance is in us and is waiting to come out."

O'Driscoll led Ireland to the Grand Slam in 2009 and understands the pressure England will be under.

"England will be realistic. They have a manager in Martin Johnson who's been there and done it. He'll be telling them that nothing's owed to them," he said.

"They'll have to grab it and they'll treat the game much like we are - as just another 80 minutes. What will come after that final whistle will come.

"There's no point trying to put extra pressure on yourself. Just live in the moment and play the best rugby you can.

"The team that beat us in the 2003 Grand Slam decider in Dublin had been so close on a number of occasions, losing in just one game.

"They used the pain of those defeats to get them right for 2003. This team has been building for a few years and now Martin Johnson has settled on a team he's comfortable with."