McFadden ruled out of All Blacks clash
November 19, 2013
Fergus McFadden will sit out Sunday's game against the All Blacks © Getty Images
Ireland will be without Fergus McFadden for Sunday's game against the All Blacks and they are waiting on the fitness of Jonathan Sexton, Brian O'Driscoll and Rob Kearney.
McFadden has broken a bone in his hand while Sexton has strained his hamstring. The Ireland management are yet to rule the Racing Metro fly-half out of the game against New Zealand and are retaining hope he will be available to play but two of his former Leinster colleagues are also doubts for Sunday's match.
O'Driscoll hurt his calf during their 32-15 hammering against the Wallabies while Kearney is nursing a sore rib. For O'Driscoll, Sunday's game against the All Blacks is likely to be the last time he faces them and he is optimistic he will be fit to run out.
"I'd be pretty positive," O'Driscoll told the Irish Independent. "I've been a bit unfortunate this year with a few niggly things. My calf has slowed me down and has stayed with me and I could feel it on Saturday and managed to see it.
"If I handle the week well, I shouldn't be far off. It's not any reason to use it an excuse for not playing brilliantly. In plenty of other games I've managed injuries, it's part and parcel of the game. You have to cope with picking up knocks."
Ireland will go into Sunday's match as underdogs as New Zealand are yet to lose a match in 2013. O'Driscoll is aware the odds are stacked against his team, but he is optimistic they can upset the apple cart.
"For a while I think it is (their best side). Anyone that saw that game against South Africa realised they were two brilliant sides, to win one of the great spectacles makes you realise how good they are.
"But, if you catch them on an off day and things go right, it can happen for us. We'll put ourselves in the same position, treating this game like one we can win. I'm the eternal optimist. No one will give us a chance, but that's okay with us."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside