O'Driscoll in doubt, McFadden ruled out

Getty Images     20 Nov 2013     Getty Images

A hand injury has ruled out winger Fergus McFadden, who impressed during Saturday's 32-15 defeat to Australia.

The Leinster flyer has a fractured bone which could see him sidelined for a number of weeks.

Meanwhile, Brian O'Driscoll (calf) and Rob Kearney (rib) are also doubtful, while team manager Mick Kearney described Jonathan Sexton's (hamstring) condition as "less worrying than initially feared".

O'Driscoll, though, is confident of recovering in time.

"I'd be pretty positive," he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

"I've been a bit unfortunate this year with a few niggly things.

"My calf has slowed me down and has stayed with me and I could feel it on Saturday and managed to see it.

"If I handle the week well, I shouldn't be far off.

"It's not any reason to use it an excuse for not playing brilliantly. In plenty of other games I've managed injuries, it's part and parcel of the game. You have to cope with picking up knocks."

Joe Schmidt's men have never beaten the All Blacks, who are on the verge of completing the first ever perfect Test year, but O'Driscoll feels they are capable of pulling off an upset.

"If you catch them on an off day and things go right, it can happen for us," he continued.

"We'll put ourselves in the same position, treating this game like one we can win.

"I'm the eternal optimist. No one will give us a chance, but that's okay with us."