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    Ireland to claim the benefits.....


    Ireland can claim benefits as dust settles on provincial weekend woe</font>



    Tuesday April 3rd 2007</font>




    AS THE shocking reverberations of both Leinster and Munster's jarring
    European exits continue to slowly sink in for Irish rugby supporters,
    national coach Eddie O'Sullivan will have had mixed feelings about
    Ireland's massive Heineken hangover.


    O'Sullivan, who skipped away from Wycombe's Adams Park on Saturday
    with 10 minutes left, will be privately relieved that his key
    performers will not need to front up in the latter stages of the
    competition in this intensive World Cup year.


    O'Sullivan's potentially nightmare scenario would have been for one
    or both Irish sides to reach May's Heineken Cup final - scheduled to
    take place after the Irish squad depart for the two-test trip to
    Argentina.


    The coach had vaguely suggested during the Six Nations campaign
    that certain key players would have to be rested for that southern
    hemisphere trip - the weekend's carnage has given him a little more
    leeway.


    And it now seems inevitable that this country's two indispensable
    talents, Brian O'Driscoll and Paul O'Connell, will not be required to
    rush their respective recoveries from the injuries which further
    handicapped their provinces' quests for European glory last weekend.


    O'Sullivan and IRFU fitness guru Dr Liam Hennessy will sit down this
    week to map out an alternative regime for the squad's front-liners -
    effectively, the countdown to their World Cup bid starts this week.


    Significant


    Ulster and Leinster will still parade their big guns, though, as
    they have the fairly significant squabble for the Magners League title
    to sort out; Michael Cheika's men have to dust themselves down for an
    underwhelming hop to Glasgow this Saturday as they seek the bonus point
    win which will edge them nine points clear of the idle reigning
    champions with four games left.


    There will be some good news for the stricken province this
    afternoon when Bank of Ireland confirm their sponsorship of the
    franchise to the tune of some €1.1million per annum.


    And, although he may also have to contemplate some night classes in
    psychology, Cheika seems certain to commit himself to Leinster's cause
    for a further two years, as Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson
    imminently expects his signature on a new deal.


    "Michael has another year to run on his contract but we are trying
    to extend that by two more years and, once we have sorted out a few
    minor details, we hope to conclude these negotiations as soon as
    possible," confirmed Dawson.


    Whereas Leinster are still vainly searching for the vital missing
    ingredients which could transform them into European champions -
    unlikely on last weekend's evidence - Munster are in a different
    quandary.


    They must now completely transform their European Cup-winning team,
    with retirement and loss of form ensuring that their remaining five
    matches in the Magners League will provide a significant laboratory as
    coach Declan Kidney seeks to give youth its fling.


    Regardless of national commitments, it will be incumbent upon Kidney
    and the rest of the brains trust to allow his main men to step aside
    from the main stage in order to reveal just how capable his collection
    of understudies will be at handling the big time.


    Incongruity


    Ironically, they begin the task with a return trip to Wales to face
    the Ospreys, who are still in with a shout of regaining the title they
    last won in 2005 - to compound the incongruity, Munster are billeted in
    the same Swansea hotel later this week.


    The pain will linger on then but, as Kidney

    #2
    Kelly is a guttersnipe who can't even get his facts right. The HEC final is May 20th, the first test in Argentina is May 26th, why would the squad be out there a full week beforehand?
    \"This year is different because this year they won\'t beat snow off a rope. They\'ll revert back to type and get 6 shades of s**t bate out of them in the group stages of the HEC ...\" Tobyglen 21 Sept 2010

    Comment


      #3


      Originally posted by Combatlogo
      Kelly is a guttersnipe who can't even get his facts right. The HEC final is May 20th, the first test in Argentina is May 26th, why would the squad be out there a full week beforehand?

      Because the cost of living is much cheaper in Argentina than in Bertie's Rip-off Republic. So it's much cheaper to base the squad in a good hotel in Argentina for a week than in Ireland. Also things like acclimatisation - and llama shagging facilities for Neil Best - must be factored into the equation.





      New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Old Dog


        Because the cost of living is much cheaper in Argentina than in Bertie's Rip-off Republic. So it's much cheaper to base the squad in a good hotel in Argentina for a week than in Ireland. Also things like acclimatisation - and llama shagging facilities for Neil Best - must be factored into the equation.


        Are you not thinking of another member of the Ulster backrow ?

        Comment

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