Click here for photos of today’s Ireland squad training session at St. Gerard’s School in Bray.
Pictured above: Geordan Murphy and Brian O’Driscoll take part in some stretching before the session in Bray. Murphy, lining out on the right wing, was in action for Leicester Tigers in their Anglo-Welsh Powergen Cup semi-final defeat to Wasps on Saturday. Irish international Jeremy Staunton kicked five penalties and converted Ayoola Urinle’s late try for a 22-17 win for Wasps.
Simon Easterby, who captained Llanelli Scarlets to a dramatic 27-26 triumph over Bath in the other Powergen semi at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Easterby, who sat out today’s training session in Bray, said of the Welsh region’s win: “We’ve come unstuck a few times in semi-finals in Europe, but we put a lot of effort into it (on Saturday). We gave 100 percent, dug deep and the reward is the win, and we’re delighted.
“We showed we can mix it with the best, but we’ve got to remember we haven’t won the tournament yet. It’s going to take the same effort again to come out on top in the final.” The Powergen Cup decider takes place at Twickenham on Sunday, April 9. The Scarlets will be hoping to make up for losing last season’s Celtic Cup final to Munster.
A general view of the players at training on another chilly, but sunny day by the seaside.
Munster lock Paul O’Connell returned to training today having missed the 31-5 win over Wales due to a shoulder injury.
Gordon D’Arcy, who scored his first two Test tries in the Triple Crown win over Scotland in 2004, practices his soccer skills at St. Gerard’s.
Paul O’Connell, Marcus Horan, David Wallace and Brian O’Driscoll line up at training.
Marcus Horan throws a pass out at training. The Munster prop is back to full fitness after sustaining a neck injury late on in the win over Wales.
Scrum half Peter Stringer, one of five players in the current Irish squad to have made their Test debuts against Scotland in 2000, receives treatment to a minor knock during today’s session.
Denis Hickie, who made his 100th appearance for Leinster in Sunday’s 16-13 Celtic League defeat of Connacht, and Brian O’Driscoll take part in a passing drill in Bray.
**All photos by Donall Farmer of Inpho Photography**