You’re in the Ireland squad for the RBS 6 Nations, how do you rate your chances in the competition?
We are going to be very competitive this year; it will all depend on how we start against Wales which is bound to be an emotionally charged game. Getting off to a winning start is the goal of any campaign.
After seeing the other Nations announce their squads, who do you expect to be the toughest challenge?
I think France will be the toughest challenge – they’ve got a strong squad.
You are now regarded as stalwarts for club and country, are there any players breaking through that you feel with have bright futures in the game?
Brendan Macken, Andrew Conway, Rhys Ruddock are a few of the young guys that are coming through in Leinster.
Leinster has been an unstoppable force in the Heineken Cup recently winning the competition twice in three years. Why have you been so successful?
I think we‘ve a great work ethic as a team and are mentally very strong. There is a hunger in the team and will to win.
It seems Leinster and Toulouse are being billed as this year’s favourites, what’s your prediction?
There’s no doubt Toulouse are a quality side and have great pedigree in the competition. For me we’re only as good as our last match and like every team have areas we need to improve on. We’ll keep trying to improve and build on the previous performance. How we approach the competition is that, we’re 100% focused on the Cardiff game. If we end up facing Toulouse then we’ll approach it like any other match.
Who’s the hardest/toughest player you’ve ever played with and against?
I’ve had the pleasure of playing with and the misfortune of playing against Felipe Contepomi who you love to play with but hate to play against. Others that stand out are M’aa Nonu and Yannick Jauzion.
Who’s the best player you have played alongside?
Playing alongside Brian O’Driscoll for so many years has been a pleasure, he’s a class act.
It’s seemingly ever popular to spend the last of you playing days abroad, would you ever consider a move to France or the Southern Hemisphere?
Probably not at this stage.