O’Driscoll: I’m getting better

Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll - widely regarded as the best centre in world rugby - believes he has developed into a more complete player. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Ireland skipper Brian O’Driscoll – widely regarded as the best centre in world rugby – believes he has developed into a more complete player.

A host of masterful performances, for Ireland and the 2001 British Lions, have sealed his reputation as the most dangerous midfielder in the game, an accolade he has yet to relinquish.

And few weaknesses could be detected against South Africa in the opening autumn Test as he exhibited a more physical edge in attack and defence, taking the ball up on the crash and knocking the Springboks backwards with the ferocity of his tackling.

It confirmed he has no peers as a centre, but the Leinster star admits he has had to work hard to take his game to the next level ahead of Saturday’s clash with Argentina.
"I like to think I’m a better all-round player now. I’m always looking at those parts of my game that are a little rusty or need improvement. If that’s helped make me a better player then great," he said.

"People are starting to realise that being a centre is not just about attacking. I like to think I have more to offer now than just being good with the ball in hand.
"You’re not always going to get free-flowing matches because of the conditions, so you have to mix your game up."

Ireland flanker Jonny O’Connor has been given the all-clear to take part in the game at Lansdowne Road.
O’Connor, who won his first cap in Ireland’s clash against the Springboks, picked up a knee injury during training on Monday and his inclusion in the line-up was subject to a fitness test.

Argentina will be unchanged for the game after the Pumas’ coaching staff predictably retained the team which recorded a stunning 24-14 victory over RBS 6 Nations champions France in Marseille last weekend.

Former Bristol scrum-half Agustin Pichot leads a Pumas side containing 11 players based in France, including the skipper himself, Toulouse prop Omar Hasan, Castres hooker Mario Ledesma and Biarritz centre Federico Martin Aramburu.

Ireland: G Dempsey; G Murphy, B O’Driscoll (capt), S Horgan, D Hickie; R O’Gara, P Stringer; R Corrigan, S Byrne, J Hayes, M O’Kelly, P O’Connell, S Easterby, J O’Connor, A Foley.
Replacements: F Sheahan, M Horan, D O’Callaghan, E Miller, G Easterby, D Humphreys, K Maggs.

Argentina: JM Hernandez; L Borges, FM Aramburu, M Contepomi, H Senillosa; F Contepomi, A Pichot (capt); R Roncero, M Ledesma, O Hasan, R Alvarez, P Albacete, M Durand, L Ostiglia, G Longo.
Replacements: F Mendez, E Guiazu, P Bouza, A Petrilli, NF Miranda, JF Miranda, GP Tiesi.

Previous story Aussies hold on for dramatic Twickenham triumph
Next story Mauger to skipper All Blacks