Saturday 16 February 2019

Best warns Irish to be ready for emotional 9/11 clash with USA

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

RORY Best has revealed that the Irish squad have already discussed the emotional impact of staging their match against the USA on September 11.

Ireland open their World Cup campaign against Eddie O'Sullivan's Eagles on the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of 2001 in New York and the hooker believes the opponents will be intent on commemorating those who suffered by putting in a performance in New Zealand.

With their former coach and keen psychologist O'Sullivan in charge, Best and his colleagues know that the coach will use the significance of the day to get a performance out of his team, who will be massive underdogs.


But after the shocks they took to their system against Georgia and Namibia in the last World Cup, Ireland will be keen to avoid any dogfights against lesser nations.

"We have a tough game against the USA on what will be an important day for them. It's the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 and to look beyond the emotion of that would be very silly," he said at the launch of the new Ireland jersey yesterday.

"It was a big historical event for them. They'll deal with it in whatever way they need to deal with it. They're a very emotional people, the Americans, once we get there we'll have to prepare for it as best we can.

"We have to take it as a game of rugby, be professional and let them do what they do. That's up to them.

"I'm sure they'll use it against a team that's expected to beat them. They're a very passionate people and I'm sure it will be an emotional day for them. It was a tragic event with real worldwide tremors.

"There will be boys in that squad who have been affected directly or indirectly from it and it will be a big day for them. We'll just have to take that emotion out of it. We have to focus on the job."

Best has put his injury worries behind him and with plenty of competition for the No 2 jersey he his confident of his chances of retaining the jersey he wore during the Six Nations.

"Competition is good; the World Cup, four warm-up games and then four group games -- we're going to need strength in depth. It drives everyone on, you wouldn't be here if you weren't competitive and it's only good for Irish rugby."

Irish Independent

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