12 Dec, 11:30
The Ireland Under-19 team to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill this Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2.30pm) has been announced.
"Those sessions were pretty intense right enough. There wasn't to much holding back, in fact (laughing) it was fairly hectic at times., high impact stuff." " But you need that type of physical session with a game like this coming up. That's not to say that preparation is any different for other games, it's just that this is the final game, they're going for the grand slam and I suppose we have something to prove. So all in all, those factors combined, gives that little more edge."
"Then when we arrived here it was really a case of tapering down, fine tuning really. We trained, just light training, on a soccer pitch about ten minutes coach trip from our hotel. In fact the most intense part of the stay here for me was to try and track down a friend who I had match tockets for."
"We're staying in a beautiful part of the country, surrounded by golf courses and just beside the racecourse at Chantilly. There was a driving range beside the hotel and a few of us hit a few balls. It's very quiet here, very peaceful. Mind you I'm not sure I like it this quiet. Walking around Chantilly and you'd never know there was a big rugby match coming up, quite different from other places. I prefer a bit more hype, it helps to get me going. Since we moved from the Dolce D'Apremont (hotel) here to Paris I've noticed the difference, Irish supporters about and an air of expectancy which is good."
" Yes well, looking ahead to the game I can't wait. I've never played at Stade de France before. I was here in 1998 as a spectator. I was playing with the A side, we'd drawn 30-30 with France the night before in Quimper. so this is my first time back. Today will be the first time to step onto the pitch. But as I said I'm really looking forward to it. I know that they're favourites, big time, but that doesn't bother me. In fact I prefer it that way. I think they're vulnerable. all the pressure is on them, a lot is expected of them today and if things don't go right the crowd will get on their back. So hopefully we can aid that process. But no matter what way you prepare, how well focused you are, you need things to go right, particularly early on and particularly against a side like the French." " I think Denis (Hickie) will be fine. Having Woody back is a big boost. He is a huge presence in the side."
" There's a buzz in the squad. You know from training how things are going and as I said if last Monday & Tuesday are anything to go on (laughs again) then we are in a good frame of mind. Anyway here's hoping, we'll give it our best shot and see hoe things pan out."
And with that David Wallace took himself off into the bowels of the Stade de France to prepare for today's final game in this year's Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship.