18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
I probably came back a fraction early and tried to go from first to fourth gear. I have felt very good in training this week and am really looking forward to the game against the Springboks.
On a personal level, having trained for 13 days in succession it was just nice not to have to be anywhere at a particular time on Wednesday.
I rediscovered the inner child with eggs and soldiers - I did have the muesli too - in the Lennox café. I just sat there with a paper, replying to emails and text messages. It was very soothing and as I was leaving I bumped into Darce (Gordon D'Arcy) who was there to chill out too.
I was also delighted to head for a meeting with a Taylor Made representative to get kitted out with brand spanking new golf equipment: irons, woods, a putter and even the new Taylor Made golf ball thanks to their parent company, adidas.
I've gone for the new burner irons with a black sole and the lofts and lies of the club have been customised to suit my own modest game. That's for another day though.
It's been easy and enjoyable settling back into the rhythm of life in the Shelbourne Hotel and the hustle and bustle of town.
Hopefully we might sell a few more tickets between now and Saturday to recreate that really special atmosphere that was such an important part of the old Lansdowne Road experience. It would be great to christen the Aviva Stadium in a Test capacity with a memorable performance, on and off the pitch.
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