Base Irish Vinny Tips Ireland! 02:01 PM on Fri 02 Sep 2011

Queenstown-based Irishman Vinny Morris, who works at Base Backpackers, was on hand to welcome his side Ireland when they touched down at the Queenstown airport.

Vinny was one of many Irish expats, locals and hundreds of school kids dressed in green to wave, cheer and welcome the Irish World Cup team.

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The Irish Rugby World Cup team and captain Brian O’Driscoll say a spirited Queenstown welcome has blown them away.
O’Driscoll and the team marched into a crowded Queenstown Airport arrivals hall full of hundreds of singing and chanting supporters decked out in green at about 3.30pm today (Thursday). 

They stopped for handshakes, autographs and photos before making their way outside where more supporters and hundreds of cheering schoolkids from around the region gave them another roar. 

Queenstown mayor Vanessa van Uden invited the players to make themselves at home as she formally welcomed the side to the resort. Players were also treated to a traditional Maori welcome. 

A beaming O’Driscoll thanked the singing and chanting fans for the spirited arrival. 

“I have to say how absolutely blown away we are by both the people of Queensland and this load of paddies…sorry, Queenstown, I should say. 

“And most importantly, thanks to all these children who have come in with all these Irish flags and done an incredible job. 

O’Driscoll added: “We’re delighted to finally be here. There’s been a huge build-up for us with some tough calls.

"There’s some very good players left behind. But this is the squad we’ve picked for the World Cup and one we think can go all the way.”

Read the full story here...


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