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News article – Style E 3077

News article – Style E 3077

After an early morning training spin on the Terrigal Trojans rugby club pitch, the Ireland squad had a welcome ‘day off’ ahead of the game against Namibia on Sunday.

Ireland’s World Cup rugby squad today mixed some early training with a day at leisure in the build up to Sunday’s second Pool A qualifying game against Namibia at the Aussie Stadium in Sydney.

Forwards coach Niall O’Donovan conducted a line-out practice session at 8.30 am on the Terrigal Trojans rugby club pitch – and afterwards it was a welcome day off for the players to chill as they pleased.

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For injured prop forward Reggie Corrigan it was quite literally a chill, as he iced a shoulder injury that threatens his fitness for Sunday’s game.

When the full training schedule resumes tomorrow (Friday), Corrigan will consult with coach Eddie O’Sullivan and team doctor, Gary O’Driscoll regarding his prospects of facing the Namibians.

Meanwhile, the other squad members pursued a variety of leisure outlets, the greater number heading towards Sydney and a visit to the set of the popular television series Home and Away.

One of the principal characters, Alf Stewart is played by Ray Meagher, who is a real rugby buff. He has visited Ireland many times and is known to Anthony Foley who organised for the players to watch the series being made.

Some other players went to the near-by Gosford Races, others played golf; some went to the beach and the team manager Brian O’Brien, accompanied by IRFU President, John Quilligan and Union treasurer John Lyons paid a visit to the famous Coolmore horse breeding stud.

Meanwhile, when Ireland meets Namibia on Sunday they will be up against a player who has just finished bowling for his country in the World Cup cricket tournament, who runs a wildlife sanctuary with his wife and who also works as a doctor!

All rounder Dr. Rudi van Vuuren, who plays at out half, is the man of many parts. He says his passion for life is not sport, but conservation.

My wife Marlice and I don’t have children, just baboons he says, we have a lot of small animals at the sanctuary, like lions and baboons. But I also can’t imagine life without sport and I have played cricket and rugby all my life.