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Niall O’Donovan on the upcoming tour

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    Niall O’Donovan on the upcoming tour

    Niall nails message for Ireland

    By Charlie Mulqueen
    YOU must play for the full 80 minutes.

    That will be the message from Niall O’Donovan when the Ireland
    squad next meets up. One of rugby’s finest forward coaches and
    assistant to Eddie O’Sullivan, O’Donovan believes they have lost out
    in too many matches over the past couple of seasons by starting
    games badly and finishing one or two in similar fashion, not least the
    heartbreaker against France at Croke Park.

    The popular view that Ireland’s impressive Six Nations campaign
    entitles them to be regarded as one of the favourites for the Webb
    Ellis trophy sits nicely with O’Donovan, who is a great believer in
    player self-confidence. But to suggest he is satisfied with progress to
    date would be seriously wide of the mark “These guys are setting
    high standards for themselves in every facet so they were
    disappointed at not winning the Six Nations,” he accepts.

    “It’s not just about winning but winning well and doing things right.
    They’ve looked at the games, they know where they can improve.
    Can they improve enough for France, for Argentina? If they can do
    that, they’ll be fine. Two years ago, we were supposed to be the
    worst team in the world, now we’re supposed to be the best. The
    truth, probably, is that we’re somewhere in between.

    “International rugby is fickle in that you can go out and make two
    mistakes and they cost you the game. .

    “It’s the small things, the attention to detail that matters most — like
    the restart against France . The game was won. We were in control
    unless something freakish happened — and it happened. If we
    learned anything from it, it’s you have to play for 80 minutes. That’s
    the key.”

    The coaching staff and the players have moved on, their sense of
    well-being not improved all that much by the early elimination of
    Munster and Leinster from the Heineken European Cup. There seems
    to be a view this will favour Ireland’s World Cup prospects but it’s not
    shared by O’Donovan.

    “I don’t buy into that at all,” he said. “Guys need to be playing at the
    highest level on a regular basis. For players to come from club rugby
    or Magners League or whatever to international rugby is a big jump.
    The longer they’re playing Heineken Cup the better for themselves
    and the national team.”

    I put it to Niall that there is always the danger of injury to key
    players. And, of course, the game has gone so physical and the
    season so long and arduous that burnout is a serious threat.

    “No matter what panel you pick, 10% will disappear because of
    injuries but what’s worse to me is if they’re not battle hardened and
    ready for action,” he replies. “We have to be ready to hit the ground
    running over in France. We can’t afford any slip ups in any games,
    even the two starters, we have to win those and win well and be
    ready to go into the France and Argentina games confident in

    While he wants the players battle-hardened going to France, and a
    way of doing that is bringing them to Argentina for the summer tour
    in late May and early June, there is the danger of injury coming off a
    particularly arduous and demanding Six Nations campaign.

    O’Donovan says their system is prepared for this. “We have a proper
    build-up going into every season with the 10-week break at the start
    and getting the guys back into the gym at the right time, doing their
    power, their speed in the gym and building on to the rugby,” he says.
    “Then, guys must have holidays. So it suits us that, while we’re away
    in Argentina, to have tho
    It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

    Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

    The Pumas have approx 300 players in Europe [img]smileys/shock.gif[/img]
    My computer thinks I'm gay
    What's the difference anyway
    When all the people do all day
    Is stare into a phone



      Originally posted by sewa
      The Pumas have approx 300 players in Europe [img]smileys/shock.gif[/img]

      Typo? I'd say they might have 30 professionals in Europe but 300???
      \"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


        Niallo was in EMA on Sunday night. Over watching the HEC semis probably.


          Originally posted by Dermot G
          Niallo was in EMA on Sunday night. Over watching the HEC semis probably.
          <DIV>Probably watching potential players for one of the summer squads. Jennings, Cullen etc.</DIV>
          <a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\">


          If you’re fat stay in the ruck - Liam Toland


            He wasn't the only person spotted slightly out of context last w/e[img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]



              this trip still makes little sense this year.......france and eng tours will be a joke too.......
              Seas suas agus troid!


                Originally posted by Combatlogo

                Originally posted by sewa
                The Pumas have approx 300 players in Europe [img]smileys/shock.gif[/img]

                Typo? I'd say they might have 30 professionals in Europe but 300???

                300 is accurate



                  so we have ireland summer tour to Argentina (group D) , england to SA (group a) wales to Oz (group b), anyone know if Scotland are heading to NZ? or would that just be a bit too much [img]smileys/c&#111;nfused.gif[/img]

                  "Some people don't know their easy lives... I wouldn't be so ungrateful" - Fiacre Ryan - #AutismAndMe


                    I don't think Scotland are going anywhere, they have however picked half their first team for the Chuirchill Cup, Heaven forbid if our A team has to play them...


                      Portugal V NZ, I can see the 200 point barrier being broken