19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
" Yeh, the lads were very supportive and it helps to have them around at a time like that.",p>" I was given the news by Brian O'Brien in the hotel, I was studying at the time I think. Obviously I was very disappointed, that's putting it mildly to be honest. But look, there's no point in wallowing in that. You just have to get on with things and then of course there's the Heineken Cup final coming up and there's just no way I'd let anything interfere with my preparation for that.
So yeh, there was a low period but I was straight back into the Munster set-up and they wouldn't allow you be down in yourself for very long."
" If there is a positive side to not making the tour it's that I can now take the time to get something done with my shoulder which isn't quite right. I think it will need pin-hole surgery which isn't too serious and then it also means that I will be able to get in some decent pre-season training."
"But before all that there's the Heineken Cup final and I'm really looking forward to that. All the lads are. This time around it's a little different. In 2000 I think we made a lot of mistakes in the run up to the final. We got involved in too much stuff in the lead-up, sorta bought into the hype and then were a little over-awed by the whole occasion. There's a better focus this time and hopefully we can do ourselves justice."
" Leicester are a superb side. Their record speaks for itself, the way they've dominated the Premiership is quite remarkable really never mind what they've achieved in Europe. I don't think the defeat to Bristol will have any bearing on their approach to Saturday's game or their mental attitude. Maybe a little like ourselves up in Ulster, they might've had one eye on Saturday's game and that is always a mistake. You have to keep your eye on what's directly ahead or you."
"Can I enjoy the build up to Saturday's game ? Well, as I said I'm really looking forward to it but it's not really a question of enjoying the build up. The atmosphere around town is great and you're aware of the buzz and that's enjoyable but really you have to remain detached and concentrate of your preparation. The atmosphere around Shannon on Thursday will be brilliant and I just hope that this time we do ourselves and our supporters proud."