O'Driscoll leads Ireland

2011-09-09 12:15

Auckland - Brian O'Driscoll will become the first Ireland player to take part in four Rugby World Cups after being named on Friday as captain of the team to take on the United States in New Plymouth on Sunday.

GALLERY: RWC Opening Ceremony

O'Driscoll, who made his World Cup debut against the Americans in 1999, already holds the Ireland record for World Cup matches with 13 appearances and for tries scored with eight.

It will also be O'Driscoll's 114th Test appearance for Ireland and that makes him the most experienced of the 600 players present at this World Cup.

Despite the fact that Ireland have sent the oldest squad to the 2011 Rugby World Cup of the 20 teams competing, they will not break the Irish record for the oldest starting XV, which is held by the side that played Georgia at the 2007 World Cup.

"Teams that have won the World Cup have played a simple, very effective rugby. I hope we can play a physical, uncompromising brand," said O'Driscoll of his hopes for Ireland who lost all four of their buildup games.

Gordon D'Arcy was named to partner O'Driscoll in midfield while coach Declan Kidney opted for the inexperienced Conor Murray at scrumhalf in place of Eoin Reddan.

Commenting on his choice of Limerick's Murray, Kidney said: "We did say we would judge it on a number of things: how the guys finished last season, how they went in pre-season.

"Obviously he finished last season strong, he has done well in pre-season and he deserves a chance to bring his own skill set to the game."

The Ireland squad relocated from their Queenstown training base to New Plymouth on the west coast of the North Island on Thursday morning.

The other Pool C teams are second-ranked Australia, Italy and Russia with Ireland looking to improve on the last World Cup when they failed to make it out of the group stages.


15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callagha, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court

Substitutes: 16 Jerry Flannery, 17 Tony Buckley, 18 Donnacha Ryan, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Sean O'Brien, 22 Andrew Trimble

15 Blaine Scully, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Paul Emerick, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 James Paterson, 10 Roland Suniula, 9 Mike Petri, 8 Nic Johnson, 7 Todd Clever (captain), 6 Louis Stanfill, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 John van der Giessen, 3 Shawn Pittman, 2 Phil Thiel, 1 Mike MacDonald.

Substitutes: 16 Chris Biller, 17 Matekitonga Moeakiola, 18 Scott LaValla, 19 Pat Danahy, 20 Tim Usasz, 21 Nese Malifa, 22 Colin Hawley