10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Coach Eddie O'Sullivan did not hide his annoyance at administrative bungling which reduced Ireland's session to under two and a half hours because they were told they must make way for the New Zealand All Blacks.
"We had a bit of a drama with getting into the Telstra Dome for training - and I'm annoyed" O'Sullivan told another packed Media conference.
The Irish coach, who is renowned for his thoroughness and planning structures, made it publicly known that France, as the designated "home" team had the choice of three slots and they selected a 6 pm to 9 pm time frame, which simulates with game time.
He added: "We were then offered two slots, 10 am to 1 pm or 2 pm to 5 pm and when we went for the 10 am start we were told we could not have it because the All Blacks had it.
"We had a bit of a row over that last night. We eventually got into the Telstra Dome at 9.30 am and were told we had to get out by 12. It has not helped us in our preparations as we had to cut back on our team run and on (the time allocated to) our kickers. The confusion was based on the fact that our Liaison Officer spoke to the Australian Rugby Union on Tuesday and said we were going in the afternoon. That's worth the paper is written on because all these communications are done through fax and hard copy.
"We were stunned when asked for our team run this morning and we were told we could not have it because the All Blacks had it."
The final snub to Ireland came with a quarter of an hour still left on the clock during the place kicking practice they were told to depart the Dome as the All Blacks were due in!
Good news for the Irish is that O'Sullivan has reported a clean bill of health. "We have no problems - everyone's good to go" he told journalists.
The coach said that his team "had the same mind set as last week (against Australia) with a little more pressure. It's a game we have to win, or we're going home. That brings a little bit more tension but we are all looking forward to the game. We know if we deliver a big performance we can win the game."