Ireland 'A' manager Joey Miles has admitted that his players are looking forward to performing well and making a statement at the Barclays Churchill Cup in America.
The Irish touring party, led by Miles and head coach Michael Bradley, arrived in San Francisco on Monday and have been training all week in the build-up to Saturday's Pool B clash with the US Eagles (Santa Clara, California, 10.00pm Irish time).
See below for some reaction from Ulster man Miles ahead of the tournament's start.
JOEY MILES: QUOTES
- ON THE OPPORTUNITIES THE TOURNAMENT PRESENTS -
"It was a long journey from Dublin via England (to get here) and it was good to arrive. Everyone is fit and well at the end of a long season, which is good news. All the players are very excited to be here. It's all very new to the players and the Barclays Churchill Cup presents them with a new challenge. It is another way for particularly the youngsters to express themselves and press for senior team selection for next season."
- ON THE US EAGLES -
"We know it has been a little while since the US played a competitive Test but we have been studying the video tapes at length. No doubt they are doing the same with us."
- ON THE IRISH SQUAD -
"We have quite a few uncapped players out there, but that makes it exciting as the squad has a lot to prove and a lot of them are looking to make a statement by performing well out here. There is a very competitive atmosphere within the squad already and now we have arrived, the players are keen to get on with the rugby."
- ON SUPPORT -
"Irish rugby has enjoyed a fantastic season both internationally and also with the provincial side Munster winning the Heineken Cup, which is the leading club tournament in Europe. Irish rugby is enjoying a high profile around the world right now and we are hoping the Americans will be aware of that and perhaps a few of them may even cheer for us on Saturday!"
**The Barclays Churchill Cup Pool B game between the US Eagles and Ireland 'A' is live on Sky Sports 3 (10.00pm) on Saturday. IrishRugby.ie will also be carrying live text updates on this site from 9.30pm onwards**