The training session yesterday took place in warm and balmy conditions at the Parc des Sport and the players and management were greeted with even warmer temperatures with a high of 28 degrees celsius at the coastal resort today.
While the visiting tourists may have been enjoying the weather, the Irish squad were again put through their paces as the tempo of training was upped by the coaching staff in advance of Thursdayâ00s game against Bayonne.
At least one player was delighted with the heat. â00Itâ00s great to be able to train in these sorts of conditions as it gives us the chance to get a lot or work done without worrying about rain or the weather affecting what we do," said Leinster and Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy.
"It also gives us some idea of what we will be encountering when we get into the tournament. Todayâ00s session was full on and guys are very keen to be involved in the game on Thursday. For a lot of us it may be our first hit out of the season, so the intensity was really high."
Commenting on his selection in the World Cup squad, D'Arcy added: "After missing out on the last tournament, it was great to the nod for this one. A World Cup in any sport is very special and while we all want to enjoy it, we will enjoy it even more if we perform to the best of our ability.â0
Ireland v Bayonne
Yesterday's session was purposely lower in intensity to allow the squad, and most importantly the players who played against Scotland, to acclimatise and rehab from last weekend's exertions. The team had a full contact session in blazing sunshine as they ran though their patterns for Thursday.
The team to play Bayonne will be announced tomorrow afternoon after training for a game that has reportedly been sold out with a 15,000 crowd expected and is sure to be a stern test for the Ireland selection.
The team will be spared the worst of the heat as the match will be played under floodlights at 9pm.
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan said: "The game gives us a chance to get more game-time for the squad which is what we need, so I would expect to get as many of the players who did not feature against Scotland on the park at some stage. Teams in this part of the world take their rugby very seriously and in front of what is expected to be a full house, we expect to get a tough game."
David Wallace sat out the session as the management continue to monitor his recovery from his ankle problem. Simon Best also joined him in a pitch-side rehab session as he was suffering a minor back spasm.
Geordan Murphy did not train due to a dead leg that he received against Scotland.
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