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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Jamie Heaslip memories of England 'warm-up' not happy

Jamie Heaslip
Jamie Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip is a prisoner to time.

Short-term focus means he can't take his eyes off the most immediate prize.

The World Cup is not yet on his daily radar.

"It seems like it could be next year to me," he said.

"Bloody hell, the fact you think week-to-week, it scares me how quick the weeks go by.

"Joe (Schmidt) said the other day that we had been doing pre-season for two months.

"I just thought, 'where did that two months go?' he wondered.

"It's just flown past and I'm sure the next two weeks will creep up on us."

"That's not to say that Joe and the management team and the video analysts don't already have the work done."

The banana skins Canada and Romania will be mostly unknown entities to Heaslip.

"When it comes to those two games all the work is done for us and all we have to do is flip the script and read off the page for that week."

Until then, the memories of England and 'warm-ups' don't take Heaslip back to a good place.

"I distinctly remember playing England on our last warm-up game for the last World Cup, despite me getting concussed," he said. "I was coming through in the medical room and seeing Wally (David Wallace) across from me with his family around him and in a bit of pain (Wallace suffered a career-ending knee injury).

"I realised how quickly it can all end," he realised. "It's about enjoying it while we're getting on with it."

This is not easy to do when you are mainly restricted to sculpting your body into shape without the pay-off of game time.

"We've had a long pre-season. We're paid to play and not to train," said. "I'm looking forward to getting out there and playing some games now.

"This is the last chance we get to be up to game speed because after that we're into the competition and you have no excuses. It's a chance to blow the last of the cobwebs off."

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