Sports Digest: Ulster No Match for Powerful Leinster leading team to a third Heineken Cup win
Kidney waits, Taylor qualifies and sports shorts
DECLAN Kidney will wait on Munster captain Paul O’Connell before finalizing his squad for the summer tour to New Zealand.
The Ireland coach has named 26 of his 29 man touring party, with call-ups for the uncapped Mike Sherry, Simon Zebo and Declan Fitzpatrick.
Brett Wilkinson, Chris Henry and Isaac Boss are also in contention for the remaining places if they prove their fitness, but there’s no place in the squad for Leinster’s Leo Cullen and Shane Jennings and Ulster’s Paddy Wallace.
Captain Brian O’Driscoll returns after injury kept him out of the Six Nations championship.
Ireland will play the world champions three times in the space of a fortnight in New Zealand, with Kidney adamant they must bounce back from a disappointing Six Nations campaign.
He stressed, “It’s about our attitude. If players are looking for their hands to be held then it’s going to be very difficult.
Kidney admits the schedule will be tough on his team. “Going to New Zealand for a three-match tour has never been done before,” he said.
“This isn’t a place for the faint of heart when you look at the location of these games and the circumstances under which we will play them.
“It’s their first game since winning the World Cup and I’m sure there will be a celebratory atmosphere in Eden Park.
“It’s a fantastic place to go as a rugby person. It’s the equivalent in soccer of going to Brazil to play them three times in as many weeks. It’s a bit sadistic but you couldn’t wish for anything else.”
KATIE Taylor has set her sights on Olympic gold after a stunning fourth world title win in a row.
The Bray woman was a convincing winner at the World Championship final in China last weekend and received a hero’s welcome on her return to Dublin on Monday.
“It’s unbelievable, this is what I’ve been training for all year,” said Taylor. “To win the world title for the fourth time in a row and qualify for the Olympics is amazing.
“For the last couple of years people have been wishing me well for the Olympics and I have had to tell them that I hadn’t qualified yet.
“And there was so much pressure on me going into this competition and it’s just a big relief to finally qualify and to be going into the Olympics as the current world champion.”
Taylor will enjoy a short well earned rest before starting her preparations for London.
She said, “I have a week off now and then I’m back into training. It’s only seven weeks to the Olympics so it’s going to be a hectic few weeks.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to represent my country at the Games and come home with the gold.
“I just thank God that I’m there now and I’m going to prepare the best I can.”
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