Brian O'Driscoll concerned by Six Nations schedule

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The Independent Online

Brian O'Driscoll takes little heart from Ireland's schedule during this season's RBS 6 Nations.

With England and France - traditionally viewed as the competition's heavyweights - due to visit Lansdowne Road, odd number years are regarded as Ireland's best chance of winning.



But O'Driscoll insists trips to Rome, Edinburgh and Cardiff have proved far from routine in recent times.



"You have a preference for playing the perceived stronger sides at home but at the same time last year we managed to lose to Scotland at home," he said.



"Having watched what they did at Murrayfield last November (beating South Africa), we know that won't be an easy game.



"We only beat Wales in Cardiff two years ago when they had a penalty kick fall a yard and a half short of the posts in the final minute.



"I even remember we went nine points down in the first half of the Italy game two years ago.



"We had to fight our way back with an interception try and eventually ground our way through.



"What makes this tournament so great is that to win five games in a row is really tough. That's why it took us 61 years to do it for a second time."



Ireland head to Rome for their opening match of the championship against Italy on Saturday.



Despite a lengthy injury list that has robbed them of 12 Test players, they remain red-hot favourites to launch their Six Nations with a victory.



O'Driscoll will lead the side out at Stadio Flaminio needing just two tries to equal Ian Smith's individual championship record of 24 - a mark that has stood for 78 years.



"It's not something that will have any bearing on how I play my game or how I go about this campaign or any others," said O'Driscoll.



"If tries come, grand, but it doesn't really bother me which person scores them.



"I get as much enjoyment in creating a try as I do in scoring it.



"You probably get a bit more kudos when your name is in the paper the next day.



"But I've walked in a few easy tries in my time and those who tend to deserve the plaudits don't usually get them."



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