Tough ties a true test of Irish rugby
THIS year, not only does autumn bring its customary crisp freshness in the evenings, it also brings a fresh start for rugby.
The Autumn International Test-match offers the most truthful gauge of where Irish rugby ranks in the world, not merely of where it ranks in Europe.
It is for this reason that I continue to suggest that we should find the will to play the "big three" southern hemisphere nations on a more regular basis, to aid our desired improvement.
Playing Australia and world champions New Zealand this month represents a step-up, and Irish rugby must take this opportunity to show what we can do.