Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip insists he would be delighted to get the opportunity to play every match of the World Cup and said all the Ireland players felt the same way.
After this afternoon’s victory against Canada, he was asked if he had ever faced such a potentially punishing schedule of matches.
“There’s been numerous times when I’ve had to play a lot of games on the trot,” he answered.
“Between PRO12 and then Europe and coming into international windows, there’s been plenty of times that’s happened.”
He said that as players, he and his teammates just wanted to play as much as possible.
“To be honest, you ask any player, they just want to play,” he said.
“We want to make the coach’s job hard in terms of selection and then you just want to get out there and take the opportunity because they are rare enough when they come along.”
He also explained that they players received all support possible to optimise their recovery between matches.
“We have backroom staff and medical staff look after us in terms of keeping us fresh,” Heaslip said.
“We’ve got good facilities everywhere we’ve went in terms of recovery.
“So guys just want to play week-in-week-out, especially when it’s Ireland at a World Cup.”
So far Ireland have been luck by comparison with other nations when it comes to injury, with only Rob Kearney’s a possible doubt after two games.
Heaslip said as long as players were fit to play, they would continue to push for selection; regardless of tiredness.
“You want to play in every game,” he insisted.
“You’ve just got to take whatever opportunity comes your way.”
Shaun Cronin, head sports reporter of breakingnews.ie spoke to the Irish Examiner's rugby correspondent Simon Lewis after the game.
Video by Dan Linehan.