Ireland stay focussed as they lick wounds
An Irish team licking wounds both physical and psychological has settled into chilly Queenstown eager to sample the resort town's many attractions.
After enjoying themselves so much in Queenstown during last year's World Cup, the touring team has opted to spend much of the week there rather than continuing on to Hamilton for the third test.
The Irish trained at the Queenstown Events Centre today and will enjoy a day off tomorrow before getting back into their work on Wednesday.
They will name their team on Thursday before flying to Hamilton.
Irish lock Dan Tuohy had already made a beeline for iconic local burger bar Fergburger - an early port of call for many a backpacker - but he had no plans to take part in some of the area's more extreme tourist attractions.
''I certainly won't be jumping off anything, there's no hope of that happening.'' Tuohy said before adding he would probably be sampling one of the region's very good golf courses.
Queenstown has proved the undoing of professional sports teams in the past, most famously when Tindallgate struck the England campaign a significant blow during last year's World Cup.
There was no danger of the Irish rugby team creating any royal ructions or indulging in any dwarf-tossing, Tuohy said.
''I don't think so, no. We are fully aware of the job at hand. If we take our eye off the ball, if you don't train hard this week, it could be a repeat of the first test and certainly we don't want to end on that note.''
The Irish have a watching brief on a number of players following Saturday's agonising second test loss to the All Blacks in Christchurch.
No 8 Jamie Heaslip will not require surgery on a fractured index finger on his right hand and the injury will be assessed in four days time but he won't be considered for selection for the third test.
Midfielder Gordon D'Arcy has returned home after ongoing issues with a recurring calf problem, but skipper Brian O'Driscoll had been cleared after an x-ray on a cheek bone.
Prop Mike Ross will also be available for selection, while second five Keith Earls' rehab was going well after he sustained a pectoral muscle injury at the end of the first test and Irish management were hopeful he would be ready to play in Hamilton.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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