The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
That, combined with France’s 28-9 win over Wales, left Ireland third overall, but Kidney is adamant the new-found strength in depth will serve them well ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand.
“We won two years ago with not a whole lot of players,” said Kidney, who led Ireland to a first Grand Slam in 61 years in 2009, his first championship in charge.
“Now, we have a broader base. We can cope with a few bangs and knocks.
“If somebody doesn't turn up for work, we are better equipped to carry that.
“We need match practice to get us right for the World Cup, and that is where the four matches in August are important.”
The 51-year-old singled out captain O’Driscoll and second row Paul O’Connell for special praise after their performance in the dismantling of England.
O’Connell had not featured in a green jersey since last year’s championship after an infected groin injury ruled him out of the summer tour and autumn internationals.
But after a slow start to the tournament, he produced a rousing display against Martin Johnson’s side.
“I can’t speak highly enough of Paul,” said Kidney. “He's played seven games, and to try and regain your match fitness in Heineken Cup and Test rugby, and be leader in the pack? That’s a monumental achievement.
“Brian has been a very good captain over some difficult matches in the last 12 months.
“He is playing very well. There are another few tries in him.”