Donncha O’Callaghan believes that Ireland’s disastrous campaign in the last World Cup will fuel the desire within the team to do themselves justice this time around.
Ireland arrived in France in 2007 as one of the pre-tournament favourites only to bomb out in spectacular style, failing to get out of the group stages.
O’Callaghan says that the painful memories from that competition will be used to drive by the team to drive them on and progress in this World Cup.
“The scars of France have stayed with us all. It was a scarring event in our careers.
“It was hugely disappointing because you arrive with such promise and all the dreams of doing well. So to come up short….there’s no worse feeling. It took me a lot of time to get over that and some of us still haven’t. “
“It took me a lot of time to get over that and some of us still haven’t.
“A lot of us pretend 2007 was a leap year, that nothing actually happened during that year! We might as well have taken a year out given the way we played.
The Munster second row also feels that Ireland can draw on their successful season in 2009 when they captured the Grand Slam for the first time in 61 years.
He said “There are times in your career when you have to front up. We managed that in the Grand Slam game against Wales in 2009.
“Before people thought Irish teams choke at big events, but beating Wales was the result that over-turned that perception.
“Big games can be the highlight of your career, or the most scarring event.”