The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Sydney is abuzz with Irish pride after the Ireland World Cup side landed on Wednesday morning. After enduring 24 hours in economy class (while the Poms sat in first class), Ireland headed straight up to their Narrabeen base for an immediate training session.
Anyone who thought the trip was a glorified holiday or who even questioned the credentials of this team would have been in for a shock if they witnessed the day progress. Andy Kelly and his well prepared staff put the boys through a tough workout followed by a massage and team meeting. Mark my words, Ireland are not here to make up the numbers.
After chatting to the players I realise how much this all means to both them and their families. Pat Richards and Damien Blanch will both have at least 40 family members at the games while a few proud Irish parents are making the flight over for a few other players next week.