O'Driscoll anticipates centre tussle at Twickenham

Brian O'Driscoll believes England's new-look centre partnership is beginning to thrive.

The Ireland captain will lock horns with Riki Flutey and Mathew Tait in tomorrow's crucial RBS 6 Nations clash at Twickenham.



O'Driscoll, who will start alongside long-time Leinster and Ireland team-mate Gordon D'Arcy, admires the balance of the partnership.



Tait is finally being given a run in his preferred position of outside centre while Flutey has established himself as the long-term solution to the number 12 conundrum.



"They're both very good players, but both are very different," said O'Driscoll.



"Riki's a second distributor while Mathew Tait is very much a strike runner who has played a bit on the wing as well.



"He's a very quick guy with good feet who has matured.



"They've started up a bit of a partnership which is only going to get better the more they play together."



Ireland have won five of their previous six matches against England but were thumped 33-10 on their last visit to Twickenham in 2008 - Eddie O'Sullivan's last match in charge.



Martin Johnson's side have dispatched Wales and Italy so far but were stung by heavy criticism for their one-dimensional gameplan against the Azzurri.



O'Driscoll, however, has full respect for a side he insists is never easy to beat.



"Irrespective of how well they've been playing, England have a huge pool of players to choose from," he said.



"England are never a bad side. Any time I've played against them and won, it's usually been by one score or less.



"That just shows you have to be on your game to beat them.



"Two years ago at Twickenham they were 10 points down and scored 33 unanswered points to win comfortably.



"They're starting to build some confidence and have two wins from two matches."



O'Driscoll paid tribute to John Hayes, who will become the first player to win 100 caps for Ireland - beating his skipper to the mark by one match.



"John's contribution to Irish rugby has been huge," he said.



"He's been a huge component of Irish teams over the decade and a cornerstone of our scrum.



"He's managed to pick up four Trip Crowns and a Grand Slam along the way.



"It's pretty impressive for anyone to play for their country 100 times. He'll have all the boys behind him tomorrow."



BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living