It's hard to believe four years have gone by but here we are again. The Rugby World Cup is up in running with all our thoughts on the chances of Eddie O'Sullivan's Irish side.
They haven't had the best preparation but the time for talking is over and we can expect an easy victory tomorrow against Namibia. We can also expect to beat Georgia next but after that? Well, the jury is out.
The best we have ever done in the past is to get to the quarter-finals and sadly I think that trend will continue in France 2007.
True we have a team who are now travelling with some of the pressure off.
The injuries to the likes of Brian O'Driscoll and David Wallace I feel has taken some of the hype out of it all. But not withstanding that Pool D is one of those nightmare draws.
Three of the top six in the World all bunched up together. France are sitting at third in the World with Argentina fifth and Ireland slipping back into sixth.
The rankings may not count for too much when we play the Argies but I do believe that France will rise above that number three and will make the final at least.
As for us? I think despite all the talk and the injuries clearing up we will make the quarter finals as second in the Pool and will be facing a game with the mighty All Blacks in Cardiff. The All Blacks are the unbackable favourites but then again what's new?
New Zealand have been the top dog in this competition for the past 20 years and yet have somehow continually failed to deliver every time bar in 1987.
They are on a different plain to anyone else. There are only a few teams who come close. South Africa, Australia and France are the rest of the best.
In fact if you ask me for a prediction I would go for New Zealand against Australia in one semi final and South Africa in the other semi-final against the host nation France.
Every game will be live on UTV and joining me in the studio will be former Ireland Captain David Humphreys, former British Lion Nigel Carr and Australia star Justin Harrison.
It's a tournament I am looking forward to and while most are backing the All Blacks for success I have a sneaking feeling that it could be case of celebration for France.
I don't think you can underestimate the national fervour in France ahead of this tournament.
They are a team and nation who can always play but don't always deliver. The dream final would be them and the All Blacks and I wouldn't bet against the French coming out in top. It's going to be a few exciting weeks and I can't wait for it all to develop.
I don't fancy Ireland as I said but I would love to see them come of age on this stage. It would be some occasion if they could produce the rugby of their lives and make the semi-finals and them even make the final, and then even??? There's nothing wrong with dreaming.
Worthy and Staunton will be to the four in Euro 2008
Northern Ireland and the Republic know what they have to do tonight. Quite simply win in Latvia and Slovakia respectively.
In the build up to the games the waters have become muddied with all the talk of Darren Gibson.
He's the young Derry lad who's opted for the Republic and who seems set to play some part for Steve Staunton's side.
That's the football end but on the politics side Northern Ireland claim him as one of their own.
It's a little messy to say the least.
And it may end up in court which will make it messier still.
Northern Ireland might claim victory but could you ever imagine the young man wanting to play for the country of his birth after that?
Things are changing here but it will take more time before everything is resolved.
Northern Ireland I feel would be better off leaving Darren Gibson alone although ultimately the decision lies with FIFA.
It's about time they made it.
For now the two teams must focus on Slovakia and the Czech Republic and Latvia and Iceland.
Northern Ireland have been boosted by that 3-1 win over Liechtenstein at Windsor Park and they will take on Lativa this evening with a great deal of confidence.
I hope I'm not getting too carried away but I think Northern Ireland can and will win.
Latvia are bottom of the table but that's a false position as far as I'm concerned.
Still, I'm not so sure they have too much to play for.
Northern Ireland will score and I can see taking away a 1-0 win. A draw wouldn't be a disaster but I do feel Nigel Worthington needs four points at least from these two fixtures to keep hopes alive for the European championships.
I think they will achieve that and stay on course for three points at home to Denmark.
The Republic too I think will do well in their travels.
They hammered Denmark in that friendly a few weeks ago and they will be up for the challenge. Of course everyone will remind you of that victory over Sweden in a friendly but I do think that Steve Staunton's men may take four points from their travels.
That on paper looks good but it may not be enough for qualification.
Northern Ireland at this stage with five games left do look to be in better shape even though four of those games will be away from home.
Hopefully all Irish eyes will be smiling come this time next week.
Our hearts go out to young Patrick's family
Sport brings so many happy moments but every so often we are reminded that it's only sport after all.
The death this week of young Patrick Breen in Drumquin was a case in point.
A 10-year-old out training with his local club collapsed and died despite all the best medical attention.
He was by all accounts a Tyrone fanatic and no doubt at some stage in his career he ran around the fields of West Tyrone dreaming that one day he would wear the Tyrone shirt and follow in the footsteps of such heroes as Peter Canavan and Sean Cavanagh.
It won't happen but it makes us all think just how lucky we are.
As we prepare to watch and enjoy all the fantastic sport happening this weekend let's all have a thought for the Breen family in Tyrone.
In that small way it would at least let the Breen family know that sport should unite not divide.
Our sympathy and hearts go out to them.