The World Series is over, and I am sorry Cubs fans, congratulations, but The Rugby Weekend, by AGI, is now here. That's right, the city of the World Series Champions will host the worlds best rugby players. Conor Murray and Andy Farrel took some time this week to talk about their expectations for this weekend's game and what it means for them to be here in Chicago.
Conor Murray, who was part of Ireland's 2014 and 2015 Six Championship is excited for this weekends match-up between Ireland and New Zealand. The last time Ireland saw New Zealand, there was a very close game, with Ireland falling, with a final score of 22-20. Stay strong all 80 minutes is something the Irish have been working on. Murray's advice is that
"You have to keep going. You can't hope for the game to end or the clock to run out, or them to make mistakes. Mentally you have to keep going."
He added that to get better you need to play the best, and the All Blacks are indeed the best in the world. The team has learned a lot about themselves and are going into the match with confidence. When asked about how he feels with a large Irish-American fan based turn out, Conor Murray says,
"It's really exciting, there was quite a buzz on the flight over. We were out getting coffee and met come Cubs fans, and Bear Fans, they were asking are we the Irish team, and they know about the game. We're expecting a huge crowd, a lot of Irish here and a huge sports town. All the guys are excited to play in such a cool city, and hopefully they come out in numbers and make a lot of noise to aid us."
Andy Farrell, IRFU Defensive Coach, is also optimistic about this weekends match, and said he is not just concentrating on 2013, and that the experience for this team in travel despite the short turn around won't phase the team. Farrell also said the talk in Ireland about what a huge event this is for Chicago was on going. He said New Zealand helped the draw but
"The support for both sides including the Irish is incredible."
As rugby continues to develop in the United States, Farrell stressed that youth development is the key to the future of a strong national side.
"Ireland's development program is fantastic. It starts very early and you see it in pockets all over Ireland.The coach development and player program we have is second to none, and it's why you can see Ireland keep turning out great players. My son, the youngest just started playing youth rugby, and it's great to see that level just thriving."
The Irish Rugby team and the All Blacks game Saturday, will just add to the greatness of Chicago as a sports town, and bring one more historic event to the city that just won the World Series, hosting the Rugby World Cup Champions.