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'Isn't it a lovely compliment that Ireland are getting talked about?' | BRIAN O'DRISCOLL

Ireland should take it as a compliment that the likes of South Africa and New Zealand keep firing shots at them.



Ireland should take it as a compliment that the likes of South Africa and New Zealand keep firing shots at them, according to Brian O'Driscoll.

On Monday, South Africa Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus suggested that he would 'not want to be Ireland' this week, as they prepare to face Scotland on Saturday.

This followed New Zealand head coach Ian Foster's post-match comments where he suggested that Ireland's clash with South Africa was boring and fans would rather watch the All Blacks thump Italy by 80+ points.

While a lot of the mind games are being used to take pressure off their own teams and put it on Ireland, Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll believes they should take it as a compliment.

"Isn't it a lovely compliment that we're getting talked about?," O'Driscoll said on Off The Ball. "There weren't many World Cups in the past where people would pay too much attention to what was going on, even when we were beating Australia in 2011 and France.

"Maybe they had reason to question our ability to back those victories up. All of a sudden, the Springbok Director of Rugby, the New Zealand head coach are talking about their game and trying to heap pressure on Ireland.

"It would make you think that there's a nervousness around the prospect of seeing an Irish team at a future stage in the tournament."

Erasmus is trying to ratchet up the pressure

O'Driscoll believes that Rassie Erasmus is merely playing mind games, trying to put the pressure on Ireland ahead of their clash with Scotland.

"A lot of players will get a sense of what's being said [in the media]," O'Driscoll said. "So, a lot of that coaching stuff has really leaked into rugby where coaches are planting seeds for opposition as much as their own team.

"I think [Erasmus] is just trying to ratchet up the pressure, isn't he? It is a knockout game. If Scotland come and win 8-0 they will qualify. There is an element of truth to what he's saying.

"We have to continue to deliver our high standards. Historically, knockout rugby hasn't been our friend at World Cups. So, he's just trying to bring the temperature up on the players' mentality, performance and expectations.

"Firing a few grenades is his modus now. Sometimes he oversteps the mark. I think this is entertaining."

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