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Ireland’s wing clipped

Tue, 19 Nov 2013 18:09
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I'm the eternal optimist

Quote-end

Wing Fergus McFadden compounded Ireland’s injury woes after being ruled out of Saturday’s Test against the All Blacks.

McFadden fractured his hand in the 15-32 loss to the Wallabies and joins Keith Earls, Craig Gilroy and Simon Zebo on the sidelines. Coach Joe Schmidt has subsequently called up Felix Jones.

Fullback Rob Kearney (rib) and flyhalf Jonathan Sexton (hamstring) could also miss the match against the world champions through injury.   

Veteran Brian O'Driscoll picked up a calf knock against Australia but is confident he’ll be ready for the weekend’s big game.

"I've been a bit unfortunate this year with a few niggly things. My calf has slowed me down and has stayed with me and I could feel it on Saturday and managed to see it,” O'Driscoll told the Irish Independent.

"If I handle the week well, I shouldn't be far off. It's not any reason to use it an excuse for not playing brilliantly. In plenty of other games I've managed injuries, it's part and parcel of the game. You have to cope with picking up knocks."

If fit, it may well be the last time O'Driscoll has the opportunity to face the All Blacks, and he hasn’t lost belief that Ireland can claim that elusive win over New Zealand.

He knows, however, that it won’t come easy.  

“Anyone that saw that game against South Africa realised they were two brilliant sides, to win one of the great spectacles makes you realise how good they are.

"But, if you catch them on an off day and things go right, it can happen for us. We'll put ourselves in the same position, treating this game like one we can win. I'm the eternal optimist. No-one will give us a chance, but that's okay with us," said O'Driscoll.

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