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In Pics: Ireland Training In Perth (3)

In Pics: Ireland Training In Perth (3)

Click here for photos of the Ireland squad’s training session at Perth’s Wesley College on Thursday.

Pictured above: Alan Quinlan claims a lineout ball just ahead of his Munster team mate Donncha O’Callaghan during Thursday’s training session at Wesley College in Perth.

Munster flanker Quinlan, who turns 32 next month, has failed to force his way into the starting squad for this summer’s three Test matches. His 23rd and last cap came in the second Test against Japan last summer – a serious knee injury ruined his chances for the recent RBS 6 Nations campaign.

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Leicester’s Leo Cullen is out-jumped by Donncha O’Callaghan during lineout practice. Wicklow man Cullen is another player whose international chances have suffered due to Ireland’s strength in depth, in this case in the second row. The last of his 18 caps came against Romania last Novmeber.

Former Australian international and Leinster coach Gary Ella has warned his country men not to underestimate the quality of Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy.

He said: “The Wallabies shouldn’t underestimate Gordon D’Arcy’s leg power. When he goes into contact he breaks a lot of tackles because guys underestimate how physically strong he is.

“He has a great ability to break the tackle. He gets low to the ground and keeps his legs pumping and gets into space.”

Denis Hickie who has been squeezed out of the Ireland matchday squad for Saturday’s Test against Australia. The Leinster winger has bad memories of the last time he faced the Wallabies – he ruptured his Achilles tendon, ending his World Cup prematurely, when Ireland fell to a 17-16 defeat at the hands of the Aussies in Melbourne in November 2003.

Owing to injury and pressure for places, Hickie has only played seven times since then for Ireland. He was an unused replacement for the two recent Tests against New Zealand.

Ronan O’Gara tackles Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll during the session at Wesley College.

O’Driscoll has spoken this week of the brilliant spirit within the Irish touring party. He admitted: “This group has knitted together superbly – sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. I don’t think that anyone has been left out in the cold.

“Usually within a squad of this size, you get a certain couple of guys who get disillusioned and head off on their own tour, but that hasn’t happened this time around. It has been great.”

Peter Stringer – one of nine players in Saturday’s starting line-up who started November’s clash with the Wallabies at Lansdowne Road. Together, Stringer and his Australian counterpart George Gregan boast a staggering 188 caps between them!

Peter Stringer throws a pass out at training with support from Donncha O’Callaghan, Denis Leamy, Marcus Horan and David Wallace.

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

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