Best relishing Eden Park return
June 8, 2012
Rory Best is ready for another battle at Eden Park © Getty Images
Rory Best is looking to replicate Ireland's last appearance at Eden Park when they take on New Zealand in the first Test.
Ireland recorded a memorable 15-6 win over Australia at last year's World Cup in their last fixture at the Auckland venue. Best recognises the World Cup champions represent another challenge, but is relishing a return to familiar surroundings.
"We have fond memories of (that game) nine months ago," said Best. "We are well aware that it was a different tournament, a long time ago and a different team. The only thing that has stayed the same is the venue and even that has changed a bit.
"There are lots of positives that we can take from that win but we're under no illusions that we have a completely different task ahead of us now.
"It was no great surprise that we won that game [against Australia]. It was thrown around like it was some massive upset but we went into that game very confident and knowing we could win it."
Best made his debut against the All Blacks at Lansdowne Road in 2005 and is well aware of the fact Ireland have yet to beat New Zealand in 24 matches. He is convinced the current squad has sufficient quality to end that run in the coming three-Test series.
"We are closing the gap and we want it closed," Best said. "It is a strange one from an Irish point of view as they are the only top-tier team we haven't beaten. We see ourselves as a very good team.
"We have a lot of faith in the ability of this squad. We have done all our homework on the All Blacks but need to get our stuff right. We would not turn up tomorrow if we were not confident of winning."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden
In the blink of an eye, a winger can go from a hero to villain. Hugh Godwin talks to Zac Guildford and David Strettle about life on the flank
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time