23 May, 12:21
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.
"It's great. I am looking forward to the opportunity. It's a big game for Ireland. We really need to get the work done, produce a good performance and get the win.
"There is a long way to go yet. We have got to just concentrate on what we can do and worry about ourselves and get the work done between now and Friday. Training was good this morning and we want to just keep building and put in a good performance on Friday.
"I didn't expect the call-up but you train every week as though you are a part of the team. When you're not in the team you train harder in case you are involved the following week. That's the way it has gone.
"Training has gone well for the guys who haven't been involved in the squad up until now. One or two of us are in the squad now and we will all be ready for it. It's a big game and we all enjoy playing big games. They are what you train and work hard."
ON HIS QUALITIES AS A SCRUM HALF AND POSITION IN THE SQUAD'S PECKING ORDER:
"It's for others to say what my qualities are. I just play my own game and I know what Eddie wants from me. That's clear enough and I'm just looking forward to the game now. I know myself what way I like to play. I have played a lot of games so everyone can make up their mind on what my qualities are. I just know Eddie wants me to play and that's what counts for me.
"You are always hoping (to get a spot in the team). You just keep training away and when the time comes you have got to be ready to take your chance.
"I've never been told I am third choice scrum half. In today's rugby there are obviously lots of different ways of picking squads and picking teams. I've always had frank chats with the coaching staff and they have always been very honest with me.
"I've never had any reason to drop my head from what they have said to me. They have always been very positive, not just now but over the past two years. It was just a matter of working hard and waiting for it to break for me. That's what happened."
ON HIS LACK OF GAME-TIME AND RELATIONSHIP WITH PETER STRINGER:
"I'd worry about not having had game-time at the World Cup when I was sitting at home at the end of it and I hadn't played. Unitl then, it wouldn't even have entered my head. I just kept training hard to put myself into a position where I was ready to play.
"Peter (Stringer) has been immense for a long time but I won't worry about trying to replace him. I will just work and concentrate on my own game. He has produced some great performances and it's a lot for everyone to live up to. This team has to live up to itself almost. We have produced some big performances in the past and hopefully we can do so again on Friday.
"Peter was very nice this morning. He wished me all the best and I get on quite well with him and hopefully that will continue. When you are at a World Cup it would be very unprofessional not to push to get in. All of the guys who have not been involved are very conscious of that. We have all worked as if we were playing."
ON PLAYING ALONGSIDE RONAN O'GARA AS IRELAND'S HALF-BACKS:
"I haven't played that much with Ronan (O'Gara). I have trained a lot with him though and it's great to be getting to play with him because he's a great player."
ON PLAYING AGAINST FRANCE'S RAPHAEL IBANEZ - HIS TEAM-MATE AT WASPS:
"It will be nice to play against 'Raf'. I made my debut for Ireland against Raf. He's a great guy and a great rugby player. I have no doubt France are going to be very good on Friday night."
ON USING HIS BIG GAME EXPERIENCE ON FRIDAY AND ON HIS TIME AT WASPS:
"You have to draw on things. I have had a lot of big games this year. It's great that they keep getting bigger. It's a natural progression for any rugby player. That's the way you want it and I have enjoyed myself thoroughly and hopefully that will continue.
"When I went to Wasps I started playing more rugby. I spent a lot of the time on the bench at Munster but I have played a lot more since and that has been the main cause in me improving as a player. It's a different job description when you are not playing compared to when you are. I wasn't playing at all really, for seasons.
"What I have learned at Wasps is that I enjoy playing big games and hopefully they will keep coming. I spoke to Matt Dawson yesterday. I do still speak to him. He's another great guy. I learnt a lot from Matt when he was playing there, as well as from the other coaches at Wasps.
"I learnt a lot particularly from the Irish coaches too. I have been very lucky in the last two years where I have been involved in set-ups where I have been about to learn a lot."