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Diary – Monday June 10th

Diary – Monday June 10th

Monday – 1st Day in Dunedin.

Our first morning in Dunedin brought the same good weather that we’ve enjoyed since we arrived in New Zealand and although it’s chilly, the signs are that we’ll have a fine morning for the training session.

Breakfast (fruit, cereal, yoghurt, bacon, scrambled eggs, bioled eggs, mushrooms) is from 8am and at 9.45 am the squad boards the coach that will take them training. Dunedin is a hilly city and the journey to Taieri RFC takes us past Carisbrook Stadium, up Saddle Hill in the direction of Invercargill.

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The strong links to the UK and Scotland in particular are evidenced by the place names like Glasgow St, Frasers Road, Donald St, Lanark St, Strathmore Crescent, Stuart St, Gladstone Road North, Hereford St and St. Albans St.

The Peter Johnstone Park, home to Taieri RFC is in a little place called Mosgiel and the session is conducted behind closed doors which means that the public are not allowed in.

As luck would have it though, there is a public pathway adjoining the playing fields and those passing by stop to watch the Irish being put through a fairly intensive session by the various coaches. Mike Ford kicks it off with defensive drills and the session ends with kick off practice, Ronan O’Gara doing the restarts and Paul O’Connell and Gary Longwell prominent in the receiving department.

There’s a TV camera crew waiting to film the players as they board the coach at the end of the session. David Humphreys stays behind to practice his kicking and the rest of the group head for the Moana Swimming complex.

Weight training is scheduled for the afternoon and a dinner that includes beef, salmon, pumpkin, mashed potato is served at 6.30pm.