24 May, 14:08
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
"Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Ali Williams, Richie McCaw...Doug Howlett, Sitiveni Sivivatu. Now, if that's a second XV, I'll eat my hat!" Click here for quotes from Eddie O'Sullivan.
EDDIE O'SULLIVAN FRIDAY PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES:
- ON THE ALL BLACKS' MUCH-CHANGED SIDE -
"I've heard people saying that we were playing New Zealand's second team tomorrow, so I had a look at the team-sheet and decided to make a note of a few names - Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Ali Williams, Richie McCaw Piri Weepu, Leon McDonald, Aaron Mauger, Doug Howlett and Sitiveni Sivivatu - I rest my case. If that's a second XV, I'll eat my hat!
"Admittedly, Graham (Henry) put out a very strong side last week, but he hasn't done anything different this week. Looking at it, that's a very strong fifteen who won't do us any favours.
"This is the first game on the tour for them (the new players) and they have to get out of the blocks. Some of the combinations won't have played together. But it's also our first international game of the season.
"We've gone through a fair bit of transition ourselves as well. We're both in the same boat and I don't think that is any real advantage. They have been training together for a few weeks now."
- ON NEW ZEALAND'S STRENGTHS -
"This has been said all summer, but the difference between New Zealand and everybody else is skill.
"Back when they won the first World Cup (in 1987) they were phenomenal athletes, and they just ran over everybody because they were simply bigger and stronger.
"Everybody else has caught up with them now in that department, but the thing they now have on top of that athleticism is skill.
"Why are Kilkenny the best hurlers in the country? Because they're playing it from as soon as they can walk. And in New Zealand, it's the same. Rugby is their national sport - it's religion for them.
"From numbers 1 to 15, they can all pass - they can all run with the ball - they all understand the game.
"And they also have the strength-in-depth to go with it, which is a scary prospect for the rest of us ahead of the next World Cup.
"But we won't just be making up the numbers tomorrow."
- ON THE PROSPECT OF WIND AND RAIN -
"(If the weather turns bad) we'll have to change our attacking zones, drop further up the field and be more careful. It's hard to pass the ball over long distances in those sort of conditions. There's no point saying you don't have to adjust because you do."