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Jamie Heaslip striving to do the green jersey proud

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 19/09/2015

Making noise: Jamie Heaslip can’t wait to hear the fans
Making noise: Jamie Heaslip can’t wait to hear the fans

After a career's worth of hard work, Jamie Heaslip says Ireland must do the jersey proud on the biggest stage of all.

Their World Cup campaign kicks off against Canada this afternoon and the No.8 said: "Now that we're here and part of the squad, you realise what you've gone through not only over the last eight or nine weeks but, for me personally, I've been playing since 2005 and there's a lot of work put in there.

"That's a lot of rugby. These kinds of opportunities don't come around that often.

"Fulfilling potential? I don't know about that. All we want to do, as players, as individuals, is do our job.

"The knock-on effect leads to good job roles, good processes and hopefully you get the outcome.

"If you do all that sometimes you don't but at least you can hang the jersey up and know you've done it proud for a day."

The roof will be closed at the Millennium Stadium today, just as it will when Ireland meet France at the same venue in three weeks, and Heaslip feels that the travelling Irish fans will make for quite an atmosphere.

"It is unbelievably hot which is great, it is not what you get most of the year," he said. "You think it is going to be really dry but, especially if you get the support that has been building that will be there, you know it can get pretty humid because of all the people in the building with the roof closed and at times the ball will be slippy.

"Otherwise I really like it, it adds to the atmosphere and it can get really, really loud sometimes so it will be a really great day.

"I have had some good days there and some pretty low days so hopefully we are going to get the outcome that we want."

Glen Jackson will again be in charge of the game - the New Zealander was in charge of Ireland's last visit here, the warm-up with Wales - but Heaslip is happier to focus on today's opposing back-row.

"You obviously do your analysis of the ref because he's a pretty big figure in the game," continued Heaslip.

"As a team, you try and see if they have any traits or are particularly hot on anything but to be honest you worry more about yourself.

"You don't want the ref involved, you just want to paint good pictures around rucks or mauls or carries or whatever and take his decisions out of the game.

"I've been paying a lot of attention to their (Canada's) back row and they've got some pretty athletic, abrasive ball carriers and they've got guys who've got skills at sevens and people who've the dark arts of the front row who are playing at No.8."

Belfast Telegraph

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