Brian O’DRISCOLL admits the knowledge that this will be his last World Cup has strengthened his resolve to help Ireland overcome Australia.
The crucial encounter of Pool C will be staged at Eden Park on Saturday when the Irish hope to give their ambitions of reaching the knockout stages an enormous lift by beating the Wallabies.
The stakes have generated a sense of urgency in 32-year-old O’Driscoll, who knows major occasions will become increasingly rare for a player entering his twilight years.
“Games like these are huge and for me personally, knowing this will be my last World Cup, it’s even bigger,” he said.
“But as much as we know the enormity of the game, there’s no point putting pressure on ourselves. We must still enjoy it. The occasion to shine is against the best teams in the world and Australia are ranked two in the world.
“Why not take the opportunity now, it might not present itself again? I’m excited about the prospect of taking Australia on.
“All of the hard work that I have put in over the last 10-12 weeks culminates in this. It’s now or never, and hopefully it’s now.”