Picturedabove: Coaches Eddie O'Sullivan and Niall O'Donovan watch on as theIrish squad train on the back pitch at Lansdowne Road ahead of thefinal Test match of the Guinness Autumn Series.
O'Sullivanis looking forward to giving the old stadium at Lansdowne a bigsend-off before the ground's redevelopment begins next year. He said:"Obviously it's the last game at Lansdowne Road - there's a bit of nostalgia there for everyone.
"There are some great memories for everybody. But it would be great onSunday to go out with a win. The plan is to do that anyway and I thinkthe team is there to do it."
Ireland's athletic trainer Brian Green tends to Leinster winger Shane Horgan. TheDrogheda man, 28, missed the 2003 summer tour when Ireland played Samoaand Tonga but he was a starter when Ireland played Fiji at LansdownedRoad in November 2002.
Stepping in for Gordon D'Arcy, Horgan will be playing at centre for Ireland for the tenth time thisweekend. The rest of his 50 caps have come as a winger - he was used asa replacement on just one occasion against South Africa in November2000.
Ulster hooker Rory Best gets apass away in training. Best is back on the replacements bench forSunday's Test against the Pacific Islanders, having started Ireland'swins over South Africa and Australia.
O'Sullivan is happy for the clash with the Islanders to be going ahead. "I think the IRB have recognised that Samoa, Fiji and Tonga have a huge part to play in the World Cup," said the Corkman.
"When the professional era came in, New Zealand and Australia started grabbing all their players. They need this kind of exposure to top-flight rugby to help them learn and to take back to their own individual teams."
Luke Fitzgerald takes on Simon Easterby and Bryan Young duringFriday's training session. The 19-year-old Dubliner only made hisLeinster debut in September and just over two months on, he will bemaking his senior bow for Ireland.
O'Sullivan reckons debutants Fitzgerald, Stephen Ferris and JamieHeaslip have merited their selections. He admitted: "Luke, Stephen andJamie have plied their trade at the highest level in tight positions ingood squads.
"If you're going to change a team you need to stick to form and this isa form selection. It's a good opportunity to push the squad outfurther."
Newcomer Jamie Heaslip produces a good hit on experienced Llanelli flanker Simon Easterby. Heaslip,22, cannot wait to pull on an Ireland jersey for the first time thisSunday. He said of his Test debut: "It's a chance to show my trade andhopefully I can impress a few people.
"Getting the ball in my hands would be a big thing for me, with the
Gordon D'Arcy, who is on the replacements bench for Sunday, tries to halt the progress of debutant Luke Fitzgerald during training. Skills coach Brian McLaughlin hasvowed that Ireland will play "the continuity game, look for the space,and if we have to go in and clean, we'll go in as fast as we can togive us quick ball." The Islanders will provide tough opposition andMcLaughlin added: "The scenario doesn't change no matter who you'replaying."
Paddy Wallace, ahead of his first start as Ireland's out-half, gets in some tacklebag work with his Ulster team-mate Rory Best. Ithas taken four years for Wallace, who was first named in an Irish squadin 2002, to get capped but he is determined to become a fixture in the22.
He said: "Having got the cap against South Africa, that's a weight offmy shoulders because everybody wants to play for their country. Havinggot that monkey off my back, it gives you more of a hunger to take itto the next level.
"I've got a real taste for this (international rugby) now, I don't justwant a couple of caps beside my name. Sunday is going to be a big testfor me but it's one I'm relishing."
Bryan Young tries to run past lock Donncha O'Callaghan attraining. The Ulster prop is still finding his feet at internationallevel and is learning all the time. He said of his first start againstAustralia: "The pace went up from what I was used to before againstAustralia (last week) but I was well equipped for that.
"I thought that I got around quite well and I was reading the gamewell. As far as I was concerned I thought I did alright. There's norestbite really, you just have to keep working hard - and if you don't work hard you're going to be targeted, that is where the opposition are going to go and make a linebreak. When you're in the scrum, you just can't switch off at all."
Being holed up with the squad in Dublin, training day in, day, out, ithas been a great experience for the front rower nicknamed 'Bear'. Headded: "It was great to play, and just to have that much time with the squad - get to know the guys, work and train and play with them.
"Basically just having that time with them got me into the squad and I was grateful for that."
Ulster back rower Stephen Ferris, who spent part of last Tuesday doing 'research' on some Polynesian-style big 'hits' on the popular website YouTube, is relishing the chance to physically match the hard-tackling Pacific Islanders this weekend.
The debutant said: "I love a big hit myself. They won't run back at us. I love defence. I love attack as well but putting a big hit on somebody, putting them down and looking into his eyes, there's nothing better."
**All photos by Lorraine O'Sullivan of Inpho Photography**
Exclusive Access, Tickets, Competitions and Much More