19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
We went to an authentic Japanese restaurant - about 10 of us - and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. We traded old war stories and ate octopus amongst other things.
I played cards with Sexto (Jonathan Sexton), ROG (Ronan O'Gara) and Leo (Cullen) and managed to win a few bob, which balances things nicely on the financial scale.
The support we have received in New Zealand has been incredible and a journey from the team room to the lifts has taken about 15 or 20 minutes as we sign autographs. People have spent an awful lot of money and invested time to cheer us on, so it is the least we can do.
On the bus journey Sean O'Brien was very excited by the landscape, particularly the size of the farms and the number of cattle in the fields. It's fair to say that he's the only one who has declared this interest. He's taken over the John Hayes mantle in this respect!
We had a Maori lady play guitar and sing for us at Rotorua Airport as we boarded our flight to Dunedin. Damien Varley asked if she would lend him the guitar and immediately and impressively belted out a couple of Christy Moore numbers.
He was immediately fined for upstaging the lady! Denis Leamy is very disgruntled about being usurped having been our go-to man in the past for singing.
There's only so many times you can listen to 'Ride On'! Given Varley's star turn, there is an undertaking to purchase a guitar with some of the fines' money.
Related Links -
Brian's blogs are on www.O2.ie/rugby.
Follow the Ireland team in New Zealand on www.twitter.com/irfurugby.
|RWC 2011 Pool C|