Despite having led Ireland to three Triple Crowns and up to third in the IRB world rankings, USA Head Coach Eddie O’Sullivan believes his wealth of experience plays no part in boosting the USA’s chances of success in the Churchill Cup.
Speaking at the opening press conference of the 2011 Churchill Cup at Franklin’s Gardens, O’Sullivan said:
“I don’t think it makes a lot of difference, I just coach the team as I always coach. We make sure we are as prepared as we can be and put together a game plan that is going to work for us against the opposition.
“I suppose having the experience of coaching test rugby is an advantage, but in terms of the American guys, they are all very keen and focused in trying to give the best preparation possible.”
O’Sullivan is expecting a tough challenge against a youthful Saxons team on Saturday and believes controlling the pace of the game is going to be the key to success:
“The Saxons will obviously be a tough game, particularly if they can play the game at a high tempo. So that’s the big challenge for us, to control the pace of the game on Saturday.”
The Eagles are without a number of their first choice players due to long domestic seasons, however O’ Sullivan sees it as a good opportunity to look at some new players:
“The advantage of us missing a few players is that we can now look at some of the guys who wouldn’t be here otherwise. It is a big Churchill Cup for us, it is going to be our main preparation before we hit August for the World Cup so it’s really important in that perspective.”
For further information on the 2011 Churchill Cup, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.churchillcuprugby.net