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Boss still keen to answer Ireland's call

By Gavin Mairs

Isaac Boss today spoke for the first time about his disappointment at being leap-frogged by Eoin Reddan for the Ireland scrum-half position.

The Ulster scrum-half, who had been second in Ireland's pecking order for the last year, admitted it had been tough to pick himself up when Reddan was installed ahead of him when Peter Stringer was dropped for the crunch game against France.

But he said such setbacks were all part of the life of a professional rugby player and added that he still hoped to play a part in Ireland's last-gasp bid to keep their World Cup hopes alive with a four-try victory over Argentina at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

" Obviously it would have been nice to get more game time and I have been disappointed to have only been involved in one match so far," said Boss.

"It was disappointing not to have been selected but then there was disappointment for me to be on the bench to start with.

"I have expectations to start, especially on big occasions like the World Cup.

"But that is the nature of the beast.

"You have to take your position in the queue and look for an opportunity and make the most of it.

"To be fair, Eoin deserves his opportunity as well.

"It was just one of those tough calls.

"It is one of those positions that is very competitive."

Boss added: "I didn't know I was going to be in the side to start with.

" Selection days are always tough days for people.

"You have to deal with it pretty quickly. You can't dwell on it too much.

" Being a professional player who have to bounce back as quickly as possible."

Meanwhile, Ulster out-half Paddy Wallace is on standby for Ireland's last-gasp bid to keep their World Cup hopes alive against Argentina on Sunday.

Ronan O'Gara sat out yesterday's open training session at Stade Bordelaise in Bordeaux as 1,500 local rugby supporters and schoolchildren cheered on Eddie O'Sullivan's squad as they ran through their paces in the first heavy rainfall of their tour.

Following two down days, the squad had a vigorous session, which saw a number of players suffer bumps and bruises, but worryingly there was still too many errors in their play.

Brian O'Driscoll (knee), Jerry Flannery (neck) and Boss (eye) all took blows but all were later declared fit for selection.

O'Gara, however, merely watched from the sidelines as he recovers from a brusied leg he suffered in the 25-3 defeat to France, with Ulster star Wallace running the backline as the first-choice out-half.

And changes are expected when under-fire Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan unveils the team that must revive the nation's fading World Cup aspirations.

O'Sullivan said he would be pursuing a high-risk strategy for Sunday and some new faces are expected, with Neil Best, Malcolm O'Kelly, Denis Hickie, Geordan Murphy and Wallace all pushing for places as Ireland must go for broke.

Meanwhile in perhaps one of the most bizarre stories of the competition the balls used at the World Cup are to be investigated following complaints from New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter.

Carter, who missed five out of nine place-kick attempts against Scotland, is unhappy players the balls they have been given in practice are different from those used in the matches.

Belfast Telegraph


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