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.
I enjoyed a wonderfully refreshing break in Wexford last weekend with some fine dining (in Marlfield House) and a nice stroll or two on the beach.
It was all very relaxing and therapeutic in mending body and mind ahead of the final two matches in the RBS 6 Nations.
This week on my day off I managed to pack in lunch with my father, coffee and a scone with Denis Hickie, a crepe and a coffee with several team-mates after a stroll down Dawson Street - a foreign dignitary was browsing in a bookshop surrounded by a phalanx of security that brought the street to a standstill - and a meal in Wagamama with Jonathan Sexton, Geordan Murphy and Johne Murphy.
I'm trying to cut down on my coffee intake but it's fair to say that my best intentions slipped a little the other day.
I watched the Man Utd match and couldn't get over how poorly AC Milan played. They didn't do any chasing down and their work ethic in general was appalling.
It was a bit of a shock to see Real Madrid go out but you have to give Lyon credit for the manner in which they rode their luck a little in the first half and realistically could have ended up winning the game 3-1 with those two late chances.
Despite being something of a selling club over the past eight years or so, Lyon have managed to retain a decent pedigree in the Champions League.
It's great to be back playing at Croke Park; the pitch is in excellent condition. We're really looking forward to playing our final two games there.
I got that familiar buzz this week moving into the Shelbourne hotel - town is on your doorstep with a variety of distractions - and now just can not wait for the weekend.
I have been very flattered with the tributes on the occasion of my 100th cap. I have had lovely texts from former team-mates and it's been very humbling.
Obviously I've thought about what it means to me to represent my country 100 times but that milestone won't change the way I approach the Welsh game.
I'll still prepare the same way I do for every match because not to do so would be unfair to my team-mates. The best way for me to celebrate on Saturday is to help Ireland beat Wales and that will be my sole focus.
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Brian's Blog - click here for previous blogs