Irish Captain Keith Wood provides fellow World Cup Squad a tremendous boost
3 October 2003 11:02
Irish Captain Keith Wood has provided his fellow World Cup Squad members with a tremendous psychological boost by declaring that they are the best he has played with.
Irish Captain Keith Wood has provided his fellow World Cup Squad members with a tremendous psychological boost by declaring that they are the best he has played with.When queried at a Media conference if the current squad is the best that Ireland has ever had, Wood respectfully said that he would not like to do a disservice to the players with whom he has not played. "But in my time with Ireland - this is the best team that we have ever had!" he boldly declared.Then the man has led Ireland more than anyone else (31 times Captain in 51 Tests since 1994) further urged his players by saying that the most important thing entering World Cup 2003 was self belief. "We want to win all our games - we have set our targets high and the most important thing is our own self belief" he said.
In his last tournament before retirement, the legendary Wood further embraced his fellow players when he believed that the key to Captaincy is delegation. The role is often over rated, he stated: "and you have the guy who thinks its all seeing, all knowing, and all doing, which is not the case. One of my flaws when I was first Captain was thinking that you needed every single aspect done and that's not the case. "When I started off there was a bit of shouting and madness in the changing room. While there is still a bit of it - let's not be in any doubt there is still a bit of madness in the Irish Team...... but its calmer than it was. "The biggest key to captaincy is delegation and enough of players have stood up and said if they could, would and have captained Ireland. Brian O'Driscoll was a top example of that. He has an excellent record, he has done incredibly well; Anthony Foley is another who knows the game intimately and is well able to make the pertinent point at the right time. You have to rely on all these and other players, not just in playing and training, but around the hotel- everyone has a role to play. If you are reliant on one person it's a flawed system,"
Ireland captain Rory Best and forwards coach Simon Easterby spoke to the media at the Captain's Run press conference in Paris earlier today, ahead of Ireland's RBS 6 Nations clash with France on Saturday.
Looking forward to locking horns with France, Conor Murray said: "I know with the type of players and type of game Guy Noves likes to play, they can throw up anything. We've got to be ready for any style of game, an offloading game, a free-flowing game."
Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby chats about sharing the defence coaching duties, Sean O'Brien (tight hamstring) sitting out Wednesday's training session and also talks about the strength of the Welsh back row.
Andrew Trimble talks about coming back from injury to make Ireland's RBS 6 Nations squad and dealing with the excitement and nervousness ahead of a big game like Sunday's Championship opener against Wales.
We hear from returning front rowers Adam McBurney and Conan O'Donnell, captain James Ryan and fellow newcomer Paul Kiernan as the Ireland Under-20s look forward to opening the U-20 RBS 6 Nations on Friday night against Wales at their new home of Donnybrook.
Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong spoke about the excitement of facing his first RBS 6 Nations campaign, the challenge of scrummaging against Wales and his earliest memories of the Championship - which include apple pie!