Six Nations: Ireland winger Keith Earls is backing Brian O'Driscoll to carry on playing until 2015 World Cup
Ireland winger Keith Earls is convinced Brian O'Driscoll can carry on playing until the 2015 World Cup.
Last Updated: 26/02/13 5:42pm
Centre O'Driscoll returned from an ankle injury to earn the man-of-the-match plaudits in Ireland's 30-22 win over Wales in their opening game of this season's Six Nations tournament.
He is due to earn his 123rd cap in Sunday's game with Scotland at Murrayfield and Earls is convinced O'Driscoll remains part of his country's plans, with the 34-year-old having also recovered well from a long-term neck problem.
"Brian was amazing against Wales - I couldn't believe it," said Munster back Earls. "The surgery on his neck has given him massive relief and you can see that in his body shape.
"Now he's able to do weights, something he wasn't able to do for a couple of years. It's made a massive difference to him.
"I wouldn't be surprised if he goes on until the next World Cup - he's feeling fresh and is buzzing.
"You get goose bumps when you're watching the video back of him play because in my eyes he's one of the best rugby players to have ever walked on a pitch.
"He has no fear, but is also very intelligent in the way he thinks about the game.
"His presence lifts you because you know he's willing to do anything for you and the team. It makes you want to do the same for him."
Earls has also defended under-fire Ireland head coach Declan Kidney, who was criticised in some quarters for his tactics in the 12-6 defeat to England in the last round of Six Nations matches.
"If the players aren't performing it's put on his (Kidney's) head, but we're all in it together," he added. "We're really positive. We had a great win against Wales and lots of errors against England.
"Having got back to 6-6 it was very frustrating. When we did the review we saw we had 30 turnovers while England had 10. We'll stick at it and play for each other. All games now are make or break.
"We've got a tough test ahead of us. Scotland are on a high and are performing well. They have a few new faces so are playing positive rugby.
"The championship is definitely there to be won as there are a lot of big games left to play. It's still wide open."