Jerry Flannery and Isaac Boss share some brilliant tales from an unforgettable Ireland tour to New Zealand 4 years ago

Jerry Flannery and Isaac Boss share some brilliant tales from an unforgettable Ireland tour to New Zealand

It all started so well in Hamilton but ended with two painful defeats and Brian O'Driscoll crowd-surfing in an Auckland bar.

The British & Irish Lions will set off for New Zealand next Monday and they will face one ell of a test against the world champion All Blacks.

Former Ireland international Jerry Flannery and Isaac Boss joined us on The Hard Yards rugby podcast this week and [from 38:00] re-lived some class tales from Ireland's 2006 summer tour to New Zealand.

"That was my first ever national tour and it was such an incredible laugh," says Flannery, "I couldn't believe it. I came back from the tour and was talking to Paulie, Donncha, Axel and John Hayes. I was like, 'Is this what it has been like for the last seven or eight years? Was it always this much craic?"

Eddie O'Sullivan's men pushed the All Blacks damned close in both Tests but were denied by the inevitable late, unstoppable surges.

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While the hurt of those losses still linger, both Flannery and Boss remember the tour fondly and believe it helped form the nucleus of a tight Ireland squad that went on to win the 2009 Grand Slam.

Also on the show, host Andy McGeady and Pat McCarry preview the upcoming Guinness PRO12 final with Ladbrokes' Hayley O'Connor, we talk pre-match nerves with the lads and we a close look at the Lions final build-ups before they jet off.

https://soundcloud.com/thehardyardssportsjoe/episode-17-donnacha-ryans-character-irelands-2006-tour-of-nz-and-munsters-pro12-final

Here is the full run-down for the show:

1:15 - The boys talk about pre-cup final jitters and their most nervous teammates
8:00 - Jerry on the mood in Munster ahead of the PRO12 final this weekend
10:25 - The panel discuss that amazing Simon Zebo try
16:00 - Bossy and Jerry talk about their experiences playing with Donnacha Ryan
18:40 - Jerry talks about Donnacha's powerful impact on the Munster squad
20:30 - Isaac on leaving New Zealand to come to Ulster
24:20 - The guys talk about how good Scarlets were and how bad Leinster were last weekend
28:48 - Isaac and Jerry on Billy Vunipola's injury
31:20 - Jerry Flannery talks missing out on the Lions tour in 2009 because of injury
34:35 - Will Vunipola's injury change CJ Stander's role in the Lions squad?
36:00 - The guys chat about what James Haskell will bring to the setup
38:10 - Jerry and Isaac remember the "unbelievable" tour of New Zealand they were on in 2006
43:55 - A PRO12 final betting preview with Hayley O'Connor from Ladbrokes