24 May, 14:08
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
Australian coach John Connolly is expecting Ireland to provide far better opposition for his side than England managed during their recent Cook Cup clashes.
The former Queensland Reds, Old Belvedere, Stade Francais, Swansea and Bath supremo said of the Irish: "They are a very stable side with Stringer, O'Gara, O'Driscoll and D'Arcy, and two world class locks (Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan)."
Connolly's men crushed England 34-3 in last week's first Test in Sydney and repeated the trick in Melbourne on Saturday as tries from Mark Gerrard (2), George Smith, Lote Tuqiri, Mark Chisolm and Stephen Larkham saw them run out 43-18 winners over the tourists. The Australians face Ireland at the Subiaco Oval in Perth next Saturday (kick-off 11.00am Irish time).
Known in rugby circles as simply 'Knuckles', Connolly turns 55 next Monday and will be hoping his players can give him the ideal birthday present with another confidence-boosting performance ahead of their Tri Nations opener against New Zealand in Christchurch on July 8.
Looking ahead to the clash with Ireland, he added: "The Irish won't give us anywhere near the opportunities England gave us. O'Gara will control the field position. They will play a very strong field position game. They will have a good lineout, their scrum will hold up. And they really squeeze a team.
"It will be a totally different game. They don't play with anywhere near the width that England have - when you play with players on each sideline you are always going to get a very loose game.
"England play with players on each sideline. Ireland will do nothing like that. We'll have to turn up mentally to compete with Ireland. At full strength, they are a handful."
Queensland Reds prop Rodney "Rodzilla" Blake has been ruled out of next weekend's tie due to an ankle injury. Hooker Adam Freier (foot) and flanker Daniel Heenan (shoulder) are also doubtful for the 25th Test meeting between the Wallabies and Ireland.
Prop Al Baxter and Perth-based hooker Tai McIsaac are standing by to start while Brumbies star Heenan is being given "an extra couple of days" to see how the shoulder which kept him out of the second Test win over England progresses.