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In Pics: Ireland Training In Limerick (2)

In Pics: Ireland Training In Limerick (2)

Click here for more photos of the Ireland squad’s training session at the University of Limerick on Tuesday.

Pictured above: Lineout action from today’s squad session at the University of Limerick. Ireland’s players are due to train on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before their journey Down Under begins with a short flight from Shannon to London on Friday evening.

Leinster flanker Keith Gleeson claims a lineout in Limerick. Gleeson will be looking to impress on the tour – the last of his 23 Ireland caps came against Italy in March 2004.

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The Irish squad listen to the words of coach Eddie O’Sullivan, who is hoping to guide the men in green to their first ever win against New Zealand in the coming weeks.

Ireland have yet to post a win against the All Blacks in 18 meetings – a 10-10 draw at Lansdowne Road in 1973 was the closest they have come to humbling the Kiwis. Their record against Australia offers more encouragement, with seven wins in 24 clashes – three of those were on Australian soil with the most recent success back in 2002 in Dublin.

Ronan O’Gara and Brian O’Driscoll in high spirits at training. Munster out-half O’Gara started seven of Ireland’s 8 Tests so far this season, scoring 82 points. He finished as top scorer in the Six Nations tournament for the second season running.

Munster lock Donncha O’Callaghan reaches for a lineout ball. The 6ft 6in forward has a better knowledge of the All Blacks than most of Ireland’s touring party. In the past eleven months, O’Callaghan has played three times against New Zealand – he partnered his provincial colleague Paul O’Connell in the second row for the Lions’ second and third Tests last July.

O’Callaghan linked with Leinster’s Malcolm O’Kelly at lock in the Irish side that lost 45-7 to New Zealand last November.

Keith Gleeson gets in some lineout practice. Gleeson, who signed a new two-year contract with Leinster in March, will be hoping for an ideal 30th birthday present on June 17 – a place in the Irish team to play New Zealand in Auckland that night.

All three uncapped players in the touring squad – Isaac Boss, Bryan Young and Peter Bracken – took part in the session at the University of Limerick.

Both Bracken and London Irish lock Bob Casey were involved in the Barbarians’ 46-19 defeat by England at Twickenham last Sunday.

**All photos by Billy Stickland of Inpho Photography**