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Ireland's Call: You asked, O'Driscoll and Kidney answered

We put some some of your questions to the Irish coach and captain ahead of the first Test – here is what they had to say.

Brian O'Driscoll ponders a reader's query.
Brian O'Driscoll ponders a reader's query.
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

WE AT THESCORE.IE kept to our word and put some of the best reader’s questions to Declan Kidney and Brian O’Driscoll at the Ireland team announcement in Auckland on Thursday.

The Irish coach and captain fielded queries from the assembled media at the Spencer Hotel for 20 minutes before breaking off to do one-on-one interviews with radio, television and print journalists alike.

Somewhere in between all of that, TheScore.ie delivered some of our readers’ most searching chin-scratchers.

We received the questions through our comment system and through the @patmccarry Twitter account of our roving reporter.

You asked, they answered:

‘Owen’

Brian O’Driscoll: “I don’t know how many times I have been lucky enough to play (here) but it is always an enormous challenge and one you thoroughly look forward to.

You are playing the world champions in their first game after they, rightly, won the crown. It is a huge challenge but also a huge opportunity.

He added, “I don’t know,beyond these fixtures, when the All Blacks are due to tour Ireland again and I don’t really care in this moment in time. It’s about these three games and three opportunities.”

‘Robbie Shaw’

Brian O’Driscoll: “Throughout the years we’ve had (Kiwi) coaches and players coming over who have come over and played with us in Ireland.

Obviously, you have Dougie down in Munster,who has had a huge impact down there, and I know that Isa is technically Fijian but he was born and bred here in Auckland. Him and Brad Thorn this year, yeah, there’s definitely an effect.

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“It is not only what they bring from a specifics and a rugby point of view but it is also a bit of the mentality side of things too. I’ve had things to take from their game, as much as I’ve taken from players of other nationalities as well. I don’t want to make it too specific to Kiwis.

“I’ve learned a lot from Aussie players and Rocky (Elsom) when he came in 2009. I learn from Ronan O’Gara every day. I learn from Jamie Heaslip and Paul O’Connell and young guys that come in.

You see things that Simon (Zebo) is able to do at training and you try and steal that little bit from his game.

“It is all (about) constantly trying to evolve as a player, and if that means taking aspects of another player’s game that you really like, then so be it.

“There is no patent on certain skills and moves in the sport that we play.”

‘Simon Lynch’

Declan Kidney: “(Provincial success) sets the boys in a good mind-set and gives them a winning mentality – that is always good.

Ask the lads themselves and they’ll tell you that the difference between provincial rugby and Test rugby is quite a step-up and we’d be fooling ourselves to think otherwise.

“It’s a help but, look, it didn’t hinder Wales this year that they didn’t have anybody going through (in the Heineken Cup). It’s a help but no more than that.”

He added, “When you are playing the world champions in their own back yard in their first game at home after the World Cup you have to be at the top of your game.

“There’s no secrets around any of that. But we believe that, if we are, then we will be in with a shout.”

You can follow all the latest news, comments and goings on from the Irish camp by following @patmccarry on Twitter and by regularly checking in with TheScore.ie.

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