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O'Driscoll undaunted by Paris showdown
9 February 2008 10:58am
Brian O'Driscoll is adamant Ireland's dismal record in Paris has left no psychological scarring for Saturday's Six Nations clash with France.
And Marc Lievremont's side, gunning for a hat-trick of Six Nations titles, are heavy favourites to extend their superiority when the rivals collide at the Stade de France.
But O'Driscoll insists that while the French remain daunting opposition, the history behind the fixture counts for nothing.
"You'd be a fool not to think that we've found it very tough to win in Paris in the past," he said.
"But you don't have the exact same team each year and you go in with fresh ambition.
"We always feel we have the capability to cause an upset.
"You have to be at your very best to stay within touching distance of them after 70 minutes. Then they really know they're in a game.
"What we've been guilty of in the past is giving up the game in the first half hour or first half.
"When the French are confident they're at their best and the passes tend to stick a bit more.
"The longer you hang in there with them the more tension there is and when 80,000 French fans start getting on their back, the Stade de France is not a nice place for their players to be."
Ireland opened their Six Nations with an unconvincing 16-11 victory over Italy and O'Driscoll has demanded his side be more clinical against France.
"I thought we were very good structurally against Italy but just lacked the killer instinct we needed," he said.
"If we can tweak those bits and pieces we won't be far away against France."
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