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.
" I was asked into the squad when Shane's injury didn't clear up and was delighted to be called in, even to be in with a shout is great. So then I had a very busy week-end. I was best man at my cousin's wedding on Saturday the day before playing with Sale in the Parker Pen Shield final. So the schedule was, wedding in London on Saturday, then drive to Oxford to join up with the boys (Sale), the Parker Pen final on Sunday, which we won, and then off to Dublin on Monday to train with Ireland. A bit hectic but a great weekend."
And then after a gruelling trip Deane finds himself in New Zealand for the first time and so far he's been enjoying it immensely.
"Yes, it's been great, a really beautiful country. I'd been expecting it to be lashing rain but the weather has been brilliant, very dry, really lovely. The jet lag has been a bit of a problem. I woke up this morning at 3 am but should be ok by tomorrow."
"The experience so far with the squad has been super. I know most of the lads, they're good crack. The training has been good, high intensity, good quality. I haven't played with Brian (O'Driscoll) before and I'm looking forward to that."
"In the immediate future I'd love to have a crack at the Blacks, a crack at the big boys. But at the moment I'll concentrate on Saturday's game. Do my best and we'll go from there."
After that it's home for another wedding. His own. After an 11 year courtship, Deane feels it's time to do the honest thing and he'll marry his Watford girlfrien in the summer. He has just finalised a new deal with Sale and as he says himself, "things couldn't be going much better for me."