By Tadhg Peavoy at Carton House
Ireland looshead Cian Healy has stated that his team will aim to be clinical and accurate against France, and that giving Brian O’Driscoll a victory in his final Test match for the country will not be the driving factor.
“We’ve to be clinical going into this game. We rely on being well drilled, not on being fired up to give Drico a send-off,” said Healy.
“We don’t have to go in with mad aggressive heads trying to beat people up. It’s about being accurate.”
Healy also shrugged off any thoughts that the French are under-performing, commenting that they can turn on top form at the drop of a hat, especially when under pressure from the media as they are now.
He also praised tighthead Nicolas Mas ahead of their battle in the scrum.
“You never know with the French lads. They can come in very fired up for a game and that [media pressure] could be the fuel for the fire they need,” said Healy.
“Nicolas Mas is a tough opponent and I’m going to have to be pretty fired up, and the front row will have to work pretty well as a unit.”
The Leinster prop also highlighted that emotion allied to being well drilled is the way this Irish team will approach the battle at Stade de France on Saturday.
“We back ourselves completely in everything we’ve done,” said Healy.
“Emotion is a thing that’s natural to an Irish team, and when we have that tied in with being well drilled and being accurate in everything, that’s our way of breaking them down.”
As far as treating a title-deciding Six Nations game differently to any others, Healy said that would not be his style of approach.
He said: “I treat all games the same. It’s fairly chilled out up until the morning of the game. Then I start upping my caffeine and listening to my music and getting in the zone.
“It’s my routine to get myself in a good head space going into a game.
“Enjoy that [the trophy] at the end of it [a tournament], but there’s a long slog before that to get to the end of it.”
Healy revealed that playing away from home is equal in enjoyment for him to lining out at Lansdowne Road and that any chanting becomes a general din, whether it be from the home or away support.
“No, it’s just as good,” said Healy. “At that stage noise is noise, it doesn’t really matter what’s being shouted.
“When somewhere is going mad it sort of all adds to the tension of the occasion. And it’s good to see the pockets of green around the stadium too.
“It’s nice to have the support there, but all the noise altogether just makes for a good occasion.”
Healy’s performances in the loose have been excellent so far this term, and the prop feels the new scrum laws have aided him in this sense, as he has more energy as a result, which he can transfer into ball carrying.
“I’ve being carrying a bit more. I haven’t found the scrum the worst, the new laws have freed me up a little bit more,” said Healy.
“It hasn’t sapped as much energy out of the legs. It’s been working in my favour to date. That’s allowed me to get around and get on the ball a bit.
“I think I have a job to do up front this weekend and take it to the pack. But when you have that done and you get out and about then the ball comes to you for a bit of a run.”