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.
Good news filtered through the Irish camp - along with the return of the sunshine - as fears about back row forward Anthony Foley were allayed when a visit to the local hospital for a scan showed no long terms problems with a knee injury.
Brian O'Driscoll, the victim of a blow across the ribs against Romania, has further lifted morale by being able to take a full part in today's tough 90 minutes training session at the Central Coast Grammar School.
Keith Wood's dead leg prevented him from taking part in the physical contact element of training but coach Eddie O'Sullivan said the Irish captain, along with all the squad members, are available for selection.
Wood earned special praise from the coach for a fine performance - and that try against Romania, although in the eyes of O'Sullivan, Shane Horgan had a monster game and was clearly the man of the match! His all round contribution was outstanding.
Before training, Irish team manager Brian O'Brien addressed 1,100 pupils of the co-ed, non denominational Coastal Grammar School and thanked them for the facilities afforded the appreciative Irish.
We have come to the World Cup with our dreams - and you should have your own dreams and goals in your lives O'Brien told the schoolchildren, aged seven to 17 years, while making a presentation of an IRFU plaque and merchandise associated with the new Irish team mascot, BROC.
As Ireland are declared odds on favourites to score back to back wins with victory over Namibia, O'Sullivan answered a query as to the chances of a shock result in the early series of games by declaring: it is less likely as the tournament progresses. He said that the minnows, although I don't like using that term because it is derogatory, don't have the depth to sustain their efforts and they will get beaten up as the games progress.
Nonetheless he paid respect to the performances by Romania (a much improved team ), Japan (who gave Scotland a hard time of it) and Georgia (although they got a pounding in the end from England).
On the evidence of the first week's games, O'Sullivan isolates England as the most polished performance so far. He said: In difficult, wet conditions when the ball was like a bar of soap, they played with huge intensity for 80 minutes. You had to be impressed.