16 July, 2011

"Ireland will be close" - Jonah Lomu previews Rugby World Cup 2011

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Lomu in his hay day, but sadly he never won a World Cup
          All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu has named Ireland as the dark horse at this year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and warned any title contenders will underestimate Pacific teams at their peril.   While making it clear that he believes New Zealand are the favourites for the  tournament, Lomu said Ireland's ageing squad was not being given the respect it deserved.
          'If there's a team that you have to be wary about, and not many people are talking about them, it's Ireland,' Lomu told reporters in the Cook Islands during a trip to promote the World Cup.  'Purely because I've watched a lot of their teams. I've watched Leinster play in the Heineken Cup and they were very impressive, especially up front.   A lot of those players are coming to the end of their career and they'll put everything on the line.'
Brian O'Driscoll will hope his last World Cup is better than 2007
         Lomu, who has scored a record 15 tries at World Cups, said conditions in New Zealand would also suit the Irish, while veterans such as Brian O'Driscoll and Ronan O'Gara would be desperate to finish their last World Cup on a high.
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