Ireland coach on altitude: 'What did Glasgow do?'

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SPOTLIGHT: Ireland assistant coach Mike Catt says his team will not pay any attention to comments about altitude ahead of their two-Test series in South Africa.

The first Test will be played on the Highveld in Pretoria on July 6 before the series ends in Durban with a Test at Kings Park on July 13.

Ireland have never won a series in South Africa and they will also be missing a couple of key players in the form of Jamison -Gibson-Park and Hugo Keenan.

The conditions at Loftus Versfeld coupled with those factors mentioned above might make it a daunting task. However, Catt said his team will be embracing all the challenges ahead of them.

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"It's a huge challenge, they are world champions in their own backyard but it's embracing it and enjoying it," Catt told Irish media this week.

"A series win in South Africa has never been done before.

"[It] is another challenge for this team, the coaches, the backroom staff.

"It is awesome, exciting; let's go and face it head-on."

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When asked about the altitude, he added: "What did Glasgow do [in the United Rugby Championship Final]? Don't make something that's not [relevant to us].

"Whenever you put on an Irish shirt, whoever you are playing against, it is hard, it's tough, you have got to take yourself to a dark side.

"It is no different when we turn up at Loftus [for the first Test].

"You have to take yourself to a level and that's the challenge.

"Can you take yourself to a level where you are thinking correctly, you are making your decisions in the heat of the battle?

"It is the same for both sides too. If you are talking about altitude, not everyone plays at altitude in South Africa so don't worry about it."

Source: Irish Independent

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