We caught up with David Wallace in the Glenview Hotel this afternoon just before he headed off for a weights session.
“The mood among the squad is pretty good, we had a good training session yesterday and picked up the pace a bit. The Belfast session was very intense. We got through a lot of work, battened down a few areas that needed looking at and I think things are a bit slicker as a result. The time there seemed to fly because we were always doing something, all in all it was a very good exercise.”
” I suppose the talking point to come out it was the exclusion of Mick (Galwey) from the squad. I’d have to say I was a little surprised, especially as he had captained the side up until then. We travelled from Belfast and you wouldn’t have known he’d been dropped, in fact I didn’t know. He was the same Mick, having the craic, his usual self. It wasn’t until I was talking to Paul O’Connell later in the week and Paul told me Mick had congratulated him on being in the squad. But it’s a question really of having so many quality locks available, something had to give. Mick’s misfortune is Paul’s good fortune. That’s the way it goes.”
“Loking ahead to the Italy game there is always of course the danger that we might become complacent. There’s a lot of talk out there about how much we will win by, but I can assure you we won’t be buying any of that. Italy are a big physical side who have probably targetted this game as a two pointer. They play a physical game and they’ve shown in the past that they can turn sides over. So we have to get our heads around all that.”
“We’ll treat this one just the same as any other game. We need to be focussed. We have to concentrate on getting our defence patterns right and strive for a good performance and if we do, we can win but no-one here is tallking about margins.”
“It’s great to see John Kelly getting the call up. He was probably a bit disappointed the last day not to get a run but that’ll be all forgotten now. On the other hand Frankie is on the bench this time. He took a lot of flak after the Scottish game and didn’t deserve it all. But I think this time it’s a case of giving Shane a start and seeing how he gets on. Woody is with us and trained yesterday but probably just didn’t have enough games under his belt to make it this time around.”
“Looking beyond the international scene there is the possibility of Garryowen making the AIB League semi-finals. Their last game is a tough one, at home to UCD, and UCD can still make the play offs. But Garryowen are showing a lot of grit and determination. They’re not the biggest side but give it 100%. If they get through, I’m not too sure whether I’ll be involved or not. The European semi final is coming up and there’s an interpro before so I don’t know what the position will be. Of course I’d be delighted to be involved but I’ll just have to wait and see.”