The Irish will spend their last week in Auckland where they will prepare for the second Test against The Blacks in Eden Park next Saturday (kick-off 7pm).
Auckland, where the Irish squad will spend their final week is New Zealand’s largest city with a population of 1.2 million people. It has the greatest number of pleasure boats per capita in the world and is known as the City of Sails. In Maori language it is called Tamaki-Makua-Rua, City of One Hundred Lovers’ and is one of the world’s most geographically spread out cities. A fusion of four major areas – Auckland Central, Manukau, North Shore and Waitakere cities, it is connected to North Shore by the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Auckland is built in a volcanic region with Mount Eden (Maungawhau – tree clad mountain) at 196 metres dominating the skyline to the south west. It has 23 regional parks, 2 marine reserves, 100 kilometres of coastline and 48 volcanic cones. The main shopping centre in central Auckland is Queen Street where the Irish team hotel – the City Life – is located. Beside the hotel you have the Sky Tower, at 328 metres the tallest building in the southern hemisphere, and a ten minute walk brings you to Princes Wharf and the America’s Cup village beside Viaduct Basin.