Dizzy O'Driscoll says he will be ok

NZPA     12 Jun 2010    

The match-winning centre remained at the team hotel this morning as Ireland completed their buildup at a rain-soaked Yarrow Stadium, but returned later to declare himself fit to take on the All Blacks.

"I feel okay, a bit better than last night so I'll be grand in another 24 hours," said O'Driscoll, who described it as "a bit of vertigo".

"The last real memory of having it was the night we won the grand slam (last year), I couldn't go to the dinner, it just came on and I was sick.

"Last night I felt a little bit dizzy and went to bed, felt a bit better this morning and I took a bit more medication and I'll be grand."

An unwell O'Driscoll would provide an even bigger handicap for the tourists who are seeking their first win in 22 tests spread over 105 years against the All Blacks.

Ireland only arrived in New Plymouth last night, having spent most of the week in Auckland, and O'Driscoll said he'd read with interest the comments of All Blacks forwards coach Steve Hansen who declared the home pack were confident of physically dominating their opponents.

"They're obviously hugely confident in the ability of the team they've selected. You'd have to ask Steve Hansen about that," O'Driscoll said.

"We'll quietly sit in the background and hope the experience we have in the likes of (prop) John Hayes and (locks) Donncha O'Callaghan and Mick O'Driscoll, they can at least match if not get the better of the New Zealand front five.

"It (Hansen's comment) has been mentioned. People deal with it in their own ways. Certainly if someone makes mention of a midfield pairing getting the better of myself and (Gordon) D'Arcy, you always keep that in the back of your mind and try to use it as motivation."

Ireland have competed strongly in their three most recent tests in New Zealand, losing 21-11 in 2008 in Wellington, and 27-17 and 34-23 in 2006.

"We have to play one of our better games in an Irish jersey, collectively, not just seven or eight of us. In the past we've put in good performances for 50 or 60 minutes and not for the full 80," O'Driscoll said.

"Any time we've been in with a shout we've taken the foot off or New Zealand have put us under pressure for the last 20. It's about playing a full 80 minute game and trying to play as much attacking rugby as possible."

D'Arcy also missed today's light run but coach Declan Kidney said he wasn't in doubt for tomorrow.