18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
EDDIE O'SULLIVAN: QUOTES
- ON NEW ZEALAND USING THE TEST SERIES AS A 'TRIAL' FOR THE TRI NATIONS -
"I'm not going to get hung up on what New Zealand's opinion of Irish rugby is. We have a Test game to play, we're prepared to play it and let the dice roll.
"New Zealand have picked a team they need to win a Test game. So be it. I'm not losing any sleep over it."
- ON GRAHAM'S HENRY'S VIEWS OF IRELAND -
"It will be a complete waste of my time expending energy on what other people are saying about us. I don't think it (Henry's view of Ireland as Europe's best team) stands up because we didn't win the Grand Slam. France won the Grand Slam. So I don't know where the logic is in that.
"I'm not reading a lot of what New Zealand are saying, I don't care really. I'm here to prepare an Irish team."
- ON NEW ZEALAND'S WEAKNESSES -
"There are not many weaknesses in the New Zealand side, but there are some there; that's where the game of chess comes in. When it's a game of inches, the small adjustments are important."
...Eddie O'Sullivan, Brian O'Driscoll and IRFU Communications and Media manager Karl Richardson on the way to the press conference...
- ON IRELAND'S EXPANSIVE GAMEPLAN -
"There will come a time in games when you have to run with the football to win a game, an if you haven't been doing that consistently, you can't just pull that out of the bottom drawer on the day.
"You have to experience that playing environment and, sure enough, you may have to adjust your tactics on a one-off situation, but there will be a time when you have to go out and play rugby.
"If you haven't been doing that you are in no position to do that when you are under the most amount of pressure."
"If you look back to last week, we put ourselves in trouble with a loose pass under the posts and knocked on. If you went back some years, that ball would have been in the second tier of the stand; we were prepared to ship it and that's a change in mindset. You then have to compliment that with a change in skills - that's where we are. I don't think we will ever get to the stage where we can say we've done that now and we're sorted but that's part of the process we're going through.
"To be fair to the players, they're more likely to try things like that and learning skills goes on and on. You're never finished with trying to learn, and it's only against teams like the All Blacks that you learn how skilful you really are."
- ON CONFIDENCE IN THE CAMP -
"On our day, I'm confident that we can turn over any team. We haven't been able to do it to the All Blacks and that's certainly a goal we have aimed for."