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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2007, 19:02 GMT 20:02 UK
O'Driscoll fit for Ireland opener
Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll after arriving in Bordeaux on Wednesday
Ireland touched down in Bordeaux ahead of their World Cup opener on Sunday with Brian O'Driscoll declaring himself fit and ready for action.

O'Driscoll seemed certain to miss the game against Namibia after suffering a fractured sinus last month.

But the Irish captain now seems likely to be involved in Sunday's game while David Wallace is also back to fitness.

"I'm fit for selection. Depending on what this man beside me (Eddie O'Sullivan) decides," said O'Driscoll.

"I'm certainly hoping to play with that number 13 shirt."

A knee injury is expected to keep Shane Horgan sidelined until Ireland's meeting with Georgia on Saturday week, but the injury news is generally promising for O'Sullivan.

David Wallace has taken a full part in training for the last few days

Eddie O'Sullivan

"Brian took a full part in training yesterday and I think the medics are happy to clear him for this weekend's game. That's a great boost for everybody," said the Ireland coach.

"I'm happy with Shane and the progress with his knee. He's a little bit behind Brian but he's still ahead of schedule.

"I don't think Shane will be ready this weekend but certainly he looks good for the week after against Georgia.


"David Wallace has taken a full part in training for the last few days and he's had no reaction (in his left ankle) so it's all good."

If Wallace does start at openside flanker, Neil Best will drop to the bench after starting against Italy.

Ireland's summer's worth of pre-season work was followed by two less than impressive warm-up outings against Scotland and Italy - but O'Sullivan remains confident that his team will peak in France.

It's not until you touch the ground in the country where the competition is that you get the feeling of taking part in a World Cup

Brian O'Driscoll

"It's all positive at the moment and we are where we want to be.

"We've got to keep in mind that these warm-up games are just warm-up games and there's no point peaking for those and not performing in the real thing."

After having arrived in France, O'Driscoll said that the feeling of being involved in the World Cup had arrived.

"It's not until you finally touch the ground in the country where the competition is taking place that you get the feeling of taking part in a World Cup," he said.

O'Driscoll moved quickly to brush aside talk of the incident that could have jeopardised his World Cup participation, when Bayonne's New Zealander Mikaera Tewhata punched him in the face without provocation.

"As far as I'm concerned it is done and dusted. I spoke to him and that's going to remain private but now it is about the World Cup and it is about looking forward and not behind," said O'Driscoll.

Ireland will be expected to win their first two matches comfortably against Namibia and Georgia before facing crunch Group D clashes against France on 21 September and Argentina on 30 September.



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