Slamming reports of a match between Ireland and the All Blacks, Taoiseach Brian Cowen has told the Dáil that today’s meeting with the 15-man delegation from New Zealand is strictly exploratory.
What we’re involved in here is internalising a new paradigm with colleagues in respect of try-scoring problems and rugby issue problems that are affecting Ireland. The main thing is to take a proactive approach turning the corner going forward. All these people talking down Irish rugby with, quite frankly, fantasy stories about some sort of match today are quite frankly doing the country a disservice.
Watch my lips.
No match today, going forward.
Blasphemy Minister Dermot Ahern was even more direct.
There is no match today. In fact, the 15-man delegation from New Zealand isn’t even a delegation. It isn’t even here. In fact, it doesn’t exist. New Zealand doesn’t exist and I confirmed this with the Taoiseach this morning. There is no such place as New Zealand.
Now, can I make it any clearer than that for you? New Zealand is a fiction.
In a hard-hitting statement to all TV presenters, Peter Power, junior minister for talking on the telly said,
I want to make it clear to Vincent Browne and all the rest of them that they had their ten minutes and now I’m having my say. I’m a solicitor and I know my rights. I didn’t interrupt you. Could I say something? Could I? Could I say something? You had your say, and now I want to say something. I’m a solicitor. Be quiet. This is my show. I’ll call my Mammy.
A spokesman for the government set out the broad strategy to rescue Irish rugby:
This is not a time for looking backwards. We are where we are. This is a time for going forward, going forward. We want the backs to move forward, and the forwards to hold back. We want the outside centre moving in and the inside centre moving out, going forward. We want quick ball out for the up-and-under, no going in from the side, no over the top. Going forward, we want to touch, pause and engage, going forward, and we look forward to useful talks with the team of advisers from New Zealand who are only here to help. Going forward.