NOW WE’RE ALL here, let’s begin.
Gordon D’Arcy and Cian Healy have joined their Ireland team-mates in Queenstown following their delayed departures from Dublin.
Leinster centre D’Arcy failed to travel last week with Declan Kidney’s squad after pulling up in training with a calf strain last Tuesday.
D’Arcy may be fit to face Eddie O’Sullivan’s United States in Ireland’s tournament opener on Sunday but Healy is a doubt with an eye injury.
The Leinster man sustained the damage in the 20-9 defeat by England and was advised to allow it to heal before embarking on the long-haul flight to New Zealand.
“I was getting mentally prepared for doing the journey by myself, but I got the news that Gordon pulled up with an injury,” said Healy on his arrival to reporters.
“There was a sense of relief for both of us that we would still be travelling. Talking to some of the squad, they have settled in really well and combined training with some time to relax and get involved in the whole spirit of the tournament.
D’Arcy admitted that picking up the injury in Kildare on the morning of the squad’s departure gave him pause for thought.
“There was a terrible sense of dread for me when the calf tightened up that morning and there was a couple of anxious hours before the scans came through and showed that it was not too bad and that it would not rule me out of the tournament.”