Marcus Horan has travelled with the Ireland squad over to Edinburgh for tomorrow’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Scotland. Horan will provide precautionary cover for Ulster prop Simon Best who is nursing a back injury. Read on for the thoughts of Eddie O’Sullivan from today’s pre-match press conference.
ON INJURY UPDATES:
“Simon Best has a back spasm and he should be fine but we are bringing along Marcus Horan anyway just in case, but I expect he (Best) will be fine again. If there is nothing overnight and the doctor is happy with him, I don’t see a problem.
“We’ll do an hour (today) and a team workout but I don’t see any problem (with Paddy Wallace’s ankle knock). It was really a precaution taking him off yesterday and I don’t see any issues at all.”
ON THE BACK ROW SELECTION:
“The Scots have picked a pretty strong side which is good for us as regards the chance to go up against a pretty much full strength Test side. It will be a good test for the back row and it will be, I think, an interesting battle tomorrow, with a lot to play for for the three boys (Neil Best, Stephen Ferris and Jamie Heaslip) starting.”
ON THE QUALITY OF THE CURRENT IRISH SQUAD:
“At this moment in time if our injury profile stays at what it is, it is as good a squad of players as we have ever had together. It hasn’t happened by accident, we have had a lot of hard work and a lot of planning and the right system built by the IRFU over the last five or six years, to be fair to them.”
ON THE IRFU’S STRATEGY FOR PROVINCIAL AND INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS:
“The interfacing of the national team and the provincial squads – one each feed off the other. How we fed off the success of the provinces and the provinces fed off the success of the national team. The IRFU developed that strategy to a point where Scotland and Wales are both trying to mirror that now and even England are beginning to look at what we are doing and see can they do the same things.
“You give credit where credit is due. The IRFU have got a lot of things right and they get their criticisms and they have their critics but they have done a lot of stuff that is very important to the game in Ireland and the reflection on that is the expectation we bring to the World Cup, the profile of the game in Ireland and the number of people who are interested in rugby now is unprecedented.
“I think the IRFU need to take a bow on that because they have done an awful lot of things right in that area.”