Ireland coach Declan Kidney continues to take an upbeat view of tomorrow's international Test against Fiji at the RDS in Dublin despite an horrific weather forecast of wind and rain.
Most importantly, Ireland report no late injury worries and the pitch at the RDS was perfect as the RBS 6 Nations champions underwent their final training session today.
Kidney said: “The pitch is in excellent condition, so a huge amount of credit must go to everyone who has been looking after it.
“Hopefully, the weather won’t be too bad because that will be difficult to overcome. But, if the weather is very bad, there is nothing any of us can do about it.
“It will be the same for both teams, we will just have to work our way through it, and play what is in front of us.”
Predictably, the Ireland coach refuses to play down the Fiji challenge, emphasising that they reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
He continued: “I thought Scotland played quite well against them last week and Fiji didn’t make it easy.
“They now have another week under their belts. As for our lads getting up for this game, I think you only have to ask Shane (Horgan) or Gordon (D’Arcy), or any of the other guys who have come into the team.
“They are champing at the bit in training for this one. I couldn’t guarantee anything, I’m not sure how the game will go, but we have picked a team that we believe will be hungry for the match.
“No doubt, Fiji will be too, given that they now have the Scotland game behind them. Weather permitting, you have the makings of a good match.
“If the weather doesn’t permit it, we will just have to work our way through it.”
Skipper Brian O’Driscoll also made the point that it is a contest Ireland are very much looking forward to.
He said: “Talking to Shane Horgan, he was telling me that he hasn’t started a game for Ireland for 18 months.
“So, when you get the opportunity to start one, irrespective of who you are playing against, you are going to try and be at your very best.
“An important part of our professionalism is that we give each team the same respect, whether it is Australia, Fiji or South Africa.”