Saturday marks a special anniversary for the 26 year old Irish skipper, it will be five years to the day since he bagged a famous try hat trick against France, in Ireland's first victory in Paris for twenty-eight years. O'Driscoll scored twice in last year's 36-15 win over Wales and has notched six tries in his last twelve Tests, culminating in last Saturday's late effort; his twenty-seventh in all.
The squad contains three players who made their international debuts against Wales in previous years, Donncha O' Callaghan, Denis Hickie and Paul O' Connell, with the latter two having scored first time out in 1997 and 2002 respectively. Despite a disappointing 26-19 defeat at the hands of the French, O' Sullivan has given the side a vote of confidence.
"I don't think the performance was as bad as the media made out," O'Sullivan told BBC Sport. "They played badly yes, but on saying that they nearly pulled the game out of the hat against a good French team."
O'Sullivan is hoping that the players will now put the defeat behind them as they attempt to derail the Welsh from their Grand Slam destination.
''It's funny in that you win by a point everything is right; you lose by a point and everything's wrong. That's a little harsh. The players were really annoyed with themselves,'' said O' Sullivan who keeps the same starting formation for the first time in the Championship. ''However, they are over it. They are in good shape now.''
O'Sullivan's chances of making any changes were thwarted by the continued unavailability of centre duo Shane Horgan and Gordon D'Arcy. It means a sixty-ninth cap for Ulster's Kevin Maggs who will again partner Ireland Captain and record try-scorer Brian O' Driscoll in midfield.