'Freak' challenge for Ashley-Cooper

Tue, 18 Jun 2013 08:56
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Wallaby utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper knows that playing against Brian O'Driscoll will be one of the biggest challenges of his career.

Wallaby utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper knows that playing against Brian O'Driscoll will be one of the biggest challenges of his career.

O'Driscoll was written off as a 'dirt-tracker' for this British and Irish Lions tour but he has been in absolutely breath-taking form and is set - accompanied with a number of injuries, to be very much involved when the first Test kicks off in Brisbane on Saturday.

The Irish veteran made his name during the 2001 Lions tour of Australia and Ashley-Cooper feels that his ability now, is just as sharp as he was 12 years ago.

Ashley-Cooper told foxsports.com.au: "I think O'Driscoll has got the experience and the ability to keep turning up.

"He's a freak, he's an absolute freak and getting the opportunity to play Brian on the weekend will be great for me.

"He's a soldier and that's why he's still one of the best 13s in the world," Ashley-Cooper added.

It is going to be an incredibly tough outing for the Waratahs centre as he prepares to take on one of the masters of the midfield.

"You can't presume anything with O'Driscoll.

"I haven't had that before and it will be a great test for me," he said.

The 29-year-old has been grateful for the opportunity to make the No.13 jersey his own this season at the Waratahs and it seems that it is going to work in his favour this year compared to previous years when he has been shifted around the backline regularly.

"It's been great, staying in the one position for more than one or two weeks.

"It's the first time it's ever happened," mentioned Ashley-Cooper.

He has been thrown around the Wallaby backline throughout his career, playing every position in the backs besides scrumhalf and flyhalf so securing the No.13 jersey defines his role in the set-up.

"Getting to build on the 13 position week-in, week-out I feel like I'm playing some of the best football I've played in my whole career.

"I feel like I can continue those performances into the Test season," Ashley-Cooper said.

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