Not really, it's an even better surprise since I was injured at the beginning of the 6 nations. Coming back and being in a starting position for this last game is a great sign of trust.
Do you think your performances as a substitute made the decision obvious for the staff?
I don't know. I did came on during two difficult games, which was not an easy situation to be in. I tried to bring something on the table, and it looks like the coaches were satisfied with it. Being older than Jules, I probably have a bit more experience than he does. Also, it might be easier to come on the field when the game is not going your way, because you have seen what is and is not working. It can be hard to keep a cool head when you are in the middle of things.
Do you think your defense and kicking game made the difference?
Defense is without a doubt one of my strengths, it could be a key aspect against Ireland, although saying that I hope I won't mess up come Saturday! But I do like defending. Regarding kicking, I think Jules is just as good as I am.
What would be the greatest danger against the Irish?
It would be to let them take control of the game. They're playing with a lot of confidence, they have some amazing talents in the back line, and we will need to watch out for them and not give them time to make the right choices. Hopefully Brian O'Driscoll will have a difficult last international game. He is an outstanding player, his 140 caps speak for themselves.
What is your take on all the criticism coming your way, as a team?
We need to accept it, because we haven't performed in Scotland, even though we won. The players and the coaches are aware of the quality of our games. Now we need to loosen up a bit, we can't do any worse than last week anyway. We need to prove to ourselves and everybody else that we can play good rugby too.
It's a bit of a paradox though, since you are still in position to win the championship...
Of course, we have three wins in four games, which is obviously a good rate. But our performances are not what we want them to be, the team isn't confident and insecurities set in. It's up to us now to move forward and try to enjoy ourselves out there.
Ireland smothered Wales, Wales smothered you... Do you expect that same kind of treatment on Saturday?
Of course, although the truth of one game is not necessarily the truth of the next one. What we need to avoid, is starting the game against Ireland like we did in Cardiff or last week, by giving soft tries. It's always very difficult to get back from those easy, early points we give away. Especially against a team like Ireland, playing like they are doing at the moment.