Our man in the Ireland Sevens camp brings us up to date with how the squad are settling in for this week’s Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Dubai. There is also the small matter of his morning wake up call!
One of the unusual aspects of sharing a room with a conditioning coach is the morning wake-up.
This morning, I woke up to a delivery of urine samples for ‘Fogs’ (fitness and conditioning coach Fergal O’Callaghan), to test the players’ hydration levels. It seems I will be awoken by the urine delivery men for the rest of the week…
Joking aside, the hydration levels are a concern for all the squads out here, with the temperature likely to be in the 30s for the beginning of the tournament.
There is a real effort to make sure the players are drinking enough, with some players capable of losing two to three kilos during a session through sweat.
We trained twice today at two separate local schools. The school kids were really keen to help out, and took over from Hugh McCaughey, our manager, with the water bottles.
This opened the door for Hugh to have a run-out as opposition for the lads, joining coach Jon Skurr in a back-line which caused more problems than anything Samoa might construct against us on Thursday!
During our second session, a sandstorm blew in, which made for unusual rugby conditions. The lads spent time signing autographs for the kids afterwards before heading back on the bus for the trip back across town. Thankfully, we didn’t pick up any knocks at the sessions today.
Back at dinner, we arrived at our allocated table only to find we had been demoted from yesterday’s position beside the Brazilian women’s squad, to somewhere closer the door. Our original position was prime for the buffet table.
The players were able to take a wander down to ‘The Lost Chambers’ in the hotel this evening to see the hotel’s 11 million-litre aquarium and 15,000 marine animals.
The theory behind ‘The Lost Chambers’ is that during construction of The Palm, a series of passages was uncovered, and the theory of The Lost City of Atlantis was born.
However, with a name like ‘The Lost Chambers’, Kyle Tonetti, nicknamed ‘Sat Nav’ for his terrible sense of direction, was advised to stay in his room.
We have an earlier start tomorrow, with training scheduled for 9am at the competition stadium. I look forward to my unique Arabian wake-up in the morning!
Vinny Hammond, video analyst with the Ireland Sevens squad, will be keeping us up to date in the build up to the RWC Sevens in Dubai.
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