Leinster have been continuing their preparations for this season’s Magners League and Heineken Cup competitions with a training camp at Whites Hotel in Wexford.
The 4-star resort, ideally set up to cater for sports teams, has been hosting the 2009 Heineken Cup champions this week.
The four-day camp is a crucial part of Leinster’s build-up leading into their first pre-season friendly against London Wasps at Donnybrook on Friday, August 20 (kick-off 7pm).
“Whites Hotel has been ideal to help us prepare for what is going to be a very tough season,” explained new Leinster coach Joe Schmidt.
“Just a couple of hours out of Dublin, it’s very accessible and with the quality of the amenities they offer we have been very well catered for.
“We’re still in a development training phase, so the players have worked very hard in the gymnasium this week.”
The Cryotherapy Centre at Whites, which is the first of its kind in Ireland, and swimming pool have also helped the team maintain their volume of work, aiding in their daily recovery from the gym and on field sessions.
Fresh from helping Clermont Auvergne achieve their inaugural French title earlier in the summer, Schmidt also added that the conference rooms have been well used to host a number of planning sessions by the squad, especially as a number of players have filtered in at different stages of the pre-season due to the Junior World Cup and Ireland’s tour to New Zealand and Australia.
“It’s been great to finally have everyone available and with the facilities here we can get them all together in the right environment to plan and hopefully establish some guidelines for the season,” he said.
“With the facilities at Whites along with the accommodating staff, it’s been an ideal environment for us to work hard, then recover effectively to work hard again.”
With Wexford Wanderers RFC playing host to the on-field sessions during the week, Leinster’s visit has strengthened the provincial ties in the South East area and was a homecoming of sorts for the squad’s Wexford duo Gordon D’Arcy and Eoin Sheriff.
Meanwhile, the Leinster squad will be concluding their four-day camp with an open training session at Wexford Wanderers RFC on Thursday (August 12) from 12 noon.
Supporters from around Wexford will have the opportunity to watch the squad train before meeting the players at the end of the session.
The area session is the second of its kind this summer following a highly successful visit to Mullingar earlier this month.