4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
Members of the Supporters Club were treated to a behind the scenes look at Lansdowne Road during the week. The lucky members won a competition to take a tour of the stadium.
The tour was led by John Moran, who has worked for the IRFU for a number of years and is heavily involved in match day preparations and events in the stadium.
The tour started with a walk through the players and official entrance under the O2 West Stand. From there John led us along the pitch to the Control Tower which serves as both the the RTE TV Studio and the event control centre for the stadium staff, emergency services and Gardai.
...The scoreboard chosen by Supporters Club members for the day...
Members were able to the "not as glamorous as it is on TV" set where Hooke and Popie or Giles and Dunphy have offered punditry over the years. Members also got to see how the scoreboard works and even set up a special one for the day.
From there the tour led to the IRFU War Memorial, along pitch side and up to the President's Box. John explained the protocols for who sits where and the different set ups for Rugby and Soccer matches adn just how they keep warm.
...The Ireland Management sit here - our tour guide explains the protocols of who sits where...
Then it was on to the dressing rooms to see where the likes of Mick Galwey and Peter Clohessy always sat and to here which of the current squad holds the record for time in the infamous ice bath.
The tour touches on all the facets of the stadium including concerts and the "riders" that some bands require for back stage. The rugby lads just need plenty of fruit and deep heat!
...The Irish Supporters Club Squad warm up...
Finally it was on to the committee room and look back at the history of Irish Rugby and Lansdowne Road. The "Wall of Fame" of Past Presidents and Captains has more than a few interesting stories attached to it including our tour guide's own meeting with a famous golfer.
...A stroll down memory lane...
The tour proved a great success and the Supporters Club hopes to run several more tour competitions before the doors close on Lansdowne Road for the last time.