Day Five – Friday June 7th.
Another beautiful morning breaks over Timaru, a slight ground frost giving way to a brilliantly sunny morning and the locals never want the Irish to leave, fearing they’ll take the weather with them. By this stage of the tour minds and bodies have recovered from the trip out and the majority of the squad are up and at breakfast long before the scheduled 8.30. By 10.15am we are our now well worn way out to training, coach driver Brian Lamond taking us up Church Street past the Timaru Assembly of God, past Woolworths on our left and up as far as The Bowker entrance to the Centennial Park and then left into Raymond St and the entrance to the Stadium.
This morning there is added activity as marquees are erected to host the post match reception and training is shortened because the intention is to come back in the evening and have a run out under lights.
The vanguard of the Irish media have arrived. Gerry Thornley, Michael Corcoran and photographers Billy Stickland and Matt Browne looking remarkably bright after their 68 hour trek from Ireland. Corcoran has already filed his first report and Stickland and Browne are immediately into action with their long-lensed cameras capturing the their first action shots from this tour.
In the afternoon the players are left to their own devices. Eddie O’Sullivan and John Redmond take off for nine holes of golf while the players can be seen drifting around town, no doubt snapping up presents for loved ones at home.
Here’s an idea of how the day has been set out.
Itinerary Friday June 7th.
8.30 – Wake up call.
8.00 – 9.30 – Breakfast.
9.00 – Management Breakfast Meeting (Rugby 9am. Medical 9.15am).
9.30 – Weigh In (team Meeting Room.
9.30 – Strapping.
10.15 – Depart training.
12.30 – Lunch.
Afternoon R & R.
4.45 – Squad assemble for journey to stadium.
6.15 – Captain’s meeting.
6.30 – Dinner.