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Open Session Proves A Hit With Fans

Open Session Proves A Hit With Fans

A lively crowd of just under 3,000 fans were treated to a display of full-on training on Monday as Declan Kidney put the Ireland squad through their paces at the Aviva Stadium.

In association with Ireland team sponsors O2, Monday’s open training session gave supporters a first hand view of the squad as the players prepare for the second game of the GUINNESS Series against Samoa on Saturday.

Tickets for the open training session were made available to download for free through the IRFU and O2 Be the Difference websites over the last three weeks.

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MC for the day, RTÉ’s Des Cahill, interviewed members of the Ireland backroom team, including team manager and former international Paul McNaughton who spoke about his time as a player and also outlined what a week in training camp is like with meetings, training and rest-time all factored in.

Athletic trainer and physiotherapist Brian Green explained how specialist GPS sports technology helps them to track players in training, monitor their fitness levels and measure the impact of training on them to ensure they are at the optimum levels.

Full-back Rob Kearney, who is set to miss Saturday’s game after picking up a knee injury, was on hand to talk about his days playing at the old Lansdowne Road in Schools Cup matches and also the game against South Africa.

The training session came to an end as the players signed autographs and posed for photos for the supporters who turned out to cheer them on.

Donncha O’Callaghan, Tommy Bowe, Luke FItzgerald and all the players were delighted to meet the supporters, both young and old, while Irish rugby’s latest centurion Ronan O’Gara stayed on after his kicking practice to sign even more autographs.

Click here to view photos from the Ireland squad’s open training session at the Aviva Stadium.