BOD targets England

Former Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll has warned England that Ireland are ready to wreck their Grand Slam party. [more]

BOD targets England

Former Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll has warned England that Ireland are ready to wreck their Grand Slam party.

Martin Johnson's rejuvenated England are on the verge of a first RBS 6 Nations clean-sweep since 2003.

But they will first have to overcome Ireland – led by O'Driscoll a Lions tourist in 2001 and 2009 and captain in 2005.

O'Driscoll has plenty of experience in facing England in Grand Slam deciders. In the infancy of his Test career, the Lions legend was part of the side that denied England a clean-sweep in 2001.

But he was also captain of the side that were blown away at Lansdowne Road when England last recorded a Slam in 2003.

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But O'Driscoll, who led Ireland to their own Grand Slam in 2009, reckons England will be feeling plenty of pressure ahead of the Aviva Stadium clash.

"You understand that and if you see a potential frailty you have to go after that," said O'Driscoll.

"I don't know too many of the England team and whether there is a new breed coming through full of confidence.

"I'm sure there will certainly be a number of those within their squad.

"But they will have some nerves like you would for any Grand Slam game and it's our job to try to bring those nerves out and compound them.

"Just because you find yourself at the big occasion it doesn't mean you are owed anything. You still have to grind it out."

Ireland are one defeat from equalling their worst Six Nations performance of 2008 and have received widespread criticism.

But they have triumphed in six out of the last seven encounters between the sides and O'Driscoll is determined to extend that sequence by taking the wheels of England's Grand Slam chariot.

"I can never remember a victory against England that has been brushed over," added O'Driscoll who will equal John Smit's Test captaincy record of 76 games on Saturday.

"It's always a huge game for us because of the history between the countries and because of the anticipation of the whole nation, not just the rugby supporters, any time we play England.

"The fact England are playing for a Grand Slam heightens the anticipation from an English perspective, but also to a degree from an Irish perspective in that there is an opportunity for us to deny them something.

"It is also a chance to finish this topsy turvy Six Nations on a high with more wins than losses and with a good taste."

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