His own youthful enthusiasm for the game is a huge part of his charisma and, for all that the arguments are well-rehearsed, the reminder that the RaboDirect Pro12 is chaired by someone who will bullishly support its status as Europe's top league, and has the clout to do so, was encouraging.
Irvine is, though, also manager for next year's British and Irish Lions tour of Australia and, as he prepared to head off on Monday for a month-long fact-finding trip Down Under, it was when the chat turned to that subject that it got particularly interesting.
On our return from a pulsating Pro12 final – the Ospreys did what no other side had been able to do this season by beating Leinster in a match that really mattered to them – he knew he had been watching many of the players he will have in his tour party.
Irvine, though, is a passionate Scot and, after a disastrous season for the national team, he is fervently hoping that, somehow, the excellence Michael Bradley and Sean Lineen coaxed from their players in reaching Heineken Cup and Pro12 semi-finals can be demonstrated when it matters.
His assessment of that, though, was telling, not least because he knows that with Warren Gatland, the New Zealander who has coached Wales to two grand slams, in charge, there will be no room for special pleading on behalf of his countrymen.
"I'm the manager. I get involved very much in the major decisions but, on the rugby side of things, you have to delegate 100% of selection to the coaches, so I'm not going to have any influence," said Irvine.
"Obviously, I'm hoping Scotland have a much better representation than we've had in years gone past and, if you look at the young boys coming through, then I think we're in a good place. The only thing I would say is that the competition is very fierce. Wales are coming off a grand slam, Ireland are going very strongly, so I'm confident there's going to be a very strong Celtic representation on the Lions; I'm just hoping that some of the young Scots with potential really come through.
"Stuart Hogg must have a great chance; Richie Gray must have a fantastic chance; Ross Ford has probably had his best season for a long time; Mike Blair has come back on form with his best season for four or five years. Then you've got the likes of [Tim] Visser coming through, while Matt Scott's got great potential. I hope he really starts to shine on the forthcoming tour and features in the Six Nations. [Dave] Denton was a tremendous find and has been a real revelation this year and you've got Kelly Brown coming back to fitness.
"There's a hard core there that will get in if they do it in the Six Nations and it will be the Six Nations that counts because, although the autumn series is important, it's the Six Nations that is very much at the forefront of the selectors' minds.
"Before the last Lions tour, Scotland had a great autumn series. We gave a very good performance against South Africa and two or three players looked as if they were already on the plane. We then dropped off in the Six Nations. So it's vital that we have a good Six Nations."
There you have it. Andy Robinson may have managed to buy himself a bit of time in his early days in charge of the Scotland team with a Test series win in Argentina and autumn Test victories over South Africa and Australia, but everyone knows those carry far less weight in the grand scheme of things.
All sorts of special factors can influence friendly matches, with the Pumas having nothing like the preparation time or access to their top players that Scotland had, while the Southern Hemisphere giants generally arrive in Europe pretty battered and tired at the end of their seasons.
How players are truly judged is in the heat of competition when participants have had a proper chance to prepare and prime themselves. In four campaigns under Robinson, his teams have been found badly wanting, just as his England teams were.
That being the case, he and his players have been done no favours by a tour schedule inferior to those being undertaken by England, Ireland and Wales who have Test series against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia respectively.
With much more in the way of preparation time and access to their best players than their opponents, Scotland have everything to lose in terms of reputation and nothing to gain except cheap world ranking points against an Australia second string, Fiji and Samoa.
Lions' selection will reflect what really matters when they return to Six Nations action next year, the only real question being whether Robinson and his new management team will have avoided the sort of embarrassments in these friendlies that will prevent them from leading Scotland into it.