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.
Last year's thrashing at the hands of Wales was not the first time England have fallen to their rivals. Scrum Sevens looks at whether they have bounced back the following year
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
"I had a perfect record against England as did a few other Welshmen. England always seemed to bring the best out of us." John Taylor on the age-old rivalry
Are the margins between the teams in the Six Nations getting smaller year-on-year? Huw Richards gives some answers