Dunedin - Brian O'Driscoll says he expects to overcome neck and shoulder injuries to lead Ireland in its Rugby World Cup opener against the United States on September 11 in New Plymouth.
O'Driscoll was rested in last week's 20-9 Ireland defeat to England and has just 80 minutes of playing time leading into the World Cup, where Ireland and the US will be joined by two-time champion Australia, Russia and Italy in Pool C.
The 32-year-old centre told the Press Association from Queenstown on New Zealand's south island on Friday: "The shoulder feels OK. The more rest time I get, the better. At this moment, I don't see any reason why I won't be playing against the USA."
O'Driscoll will be playing in his fourth World Cup.