10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Hey Pat, how's it goin me oul flower. The voice boomed. D'ye know who this is.
Do I know who this is? It's four o'clock in the morning for Chrissake. But the assault continued.
I bet you don't know who this is. But I did.
Kevin, how are ye. I muttered.
Ah Jaysus you're quick Pat. It's Kevin Corcoran here, how's she cutting.?"
(Now I'm thinking did he phone me to find out who he was.
Not a bother Kevin I lied.
Listen, I'll tellya what it is. We're having a going away party for Trevor (Brennan) and just hoped you'd be able to drop into the club (Barnhall).
Thanks Kevin, appreciate the invite but I'm away at the minute. When's the party.
" You're away? Ah good man. Where are ye?
"I'm in New Zealand Kevin.
Ah jaysus are ye serious. What's the crack like. What time of the day is it there?
"It's four o'clock in the morning Kev.
"Oh *****, sorry Pat, But the party's on the 29th and there'll be another in the Gaelic club. I'd better let ye go and get back to sleep. See ye bud.
It wasn't my first encounter of the night with Barnhall RFC. Earlier on, I nipped into Dicey's, to watch the end of the Italy v Mexico game along with Billy Stickland, Liam Heagney and ardent Italian fan Gervaise Thornley. After beating Stickland at pool, I noticed a familiar face. Sporting the colours he represented so well was Eoin Burke, scrum-half for the Leixlip side (as well as the Leinster Junior XV) until his departure to Australia.
Now based in Sydney, Eoin and a group of pals had come over to New Zealand for the last two weeks of the tour and they were traveling around in a camper van and enjoying themselves no end. An attempt to buy him a drink was thwarted by the licensing laws but he's staying close by and doubtless the opportunity will arise again.
Having eventually returned to the land of nod, the next call came at 8.30 am from a New Zealand friend Chris Chapman but he only managed to waken me, before he was cut off and it was time to throw my hat at this sleeping thing.
It's wet today in Dunedin and the rain is cold and skies are grey. The Irish management hold a midday press conference which is well attended and the final one before match kick off. The news on the AN Other is that no decision will be made until shortly before kick off with Alan Quinlan, Leo Cullen and David Wallace the contenders for the vacancy.
Gary Longwell's parents have arrived as have Anthony Foley's and John Kelly's (via Timaru) and as the day progresses the rain gets heavier.