5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
It's a beautiful place and we were fully able to enjoy the delights it had to offer. Obviously once you kick into game mode, the emphasis is hugely different.
That's not to say we haven't had our moments of fun. There is a fines system in operation for those who break certain rules within the squad and one is that players are not allowed to use their mobile phones during meals.
I was caught and had to roll a dice and depending on the outcome your fine (NZ$10) can be quashed or doubled.
There is one other outcome. If the player rolls a six then he must choose a card from a deck and there is a further punishment. I rolled a six and mine was that I had to wear cat's whiskers and sport a blackened nose for 24 hours - it was annoying to say the least!
Speaking of embarrassing things we decided last Tuesday that anyone who manages a personal best in the gym would have to go around and high five everyone in the place.
Mike Ross managed just that on Wednesday and it was hilarious watching him encourage strangers to high five him, walking up to women minding their own business on treadmills only to be approached by Mike!
My parents came over during the week and it was nice to catch up with them. Speaking of familiar faces, I went out for a bite to eat with Alan Quinlan, who is part of the ITV analysts' team at the World Cup. He's as entertaining as ever and seems to be enjoying the role.
I've got a system for packing clothes that I might patent, allowing me to complete the task in about five minutes, it's very impressive. There's been a good balance on and off the pitch and it's now up to us to empty the tank against Australia.
Related Links -
Paul's blogs are on www.O2.ie/rugby.
Follow the Ireland team in New Zealand on www.twitter.com/irfurugby.