Leo Cullen notes a sense of anticipation in Irish camp

2011 Rugby World Cup warm-up - France v Ireland

Venue:
Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux
Date:
Saturday, 13 August
Kick-off:
1945 BST
Coverage:
Full commentary on BBC Radio Ulster MW and updates on the BBC Sport website
Declan Kidney and Leo Cullen
Ireland coach Declan Kidney has named Leo Cullen as captain for the game against France

Leo Cullen says there is a "sense of anticipation" in the camp as Ireland continue their World Cup preparation against France in Bordeaux.

The Leinster second row will captain the Irish side on Saturday night.

"There is a bit of uncertainty as players are coming in at very different stages of fitness and some areas of selection are very tight," said Cullen.

"People can become more anxious as you get nearer to the squad being named. Everyone wants to be on that plane."

"It's a funny time of year too and it all poses certain challenges, with some players just trying to get fit.

"It all brings out the best in the players though.

"The key focus is on the World Cup but for now we are preparing to face a France team who will come at us with real physicality from the start, we have to be ready for that."

Ireland coach Declan Kidney says his side will enter every match with the intention of winning it but adds that "it is very important to get players up to match fitness, that's what it's all about".

"We need to hold onto the ball better than we did against Scotland and get some combinations up to speed," explained the Irish coach.

"In France they could pick three or four teams of similar quality - that's the strength of French rugby.

"Playing a French team in the south of France is as tough as it comes."

Kidney added that Ulster back-row forward Stephen Ferris is progressing well and has been taking a full part in training sessions this week.

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