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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Brian’s Blog: Octopus For Dinner And Varls’ Star Turn

Brian’s Blog: Octopus For Dinner And Varls’ Star Turn

After Queenstown, New Plymouth, Auckland, Taupo and Rotorua, the Ireland squad and management have now moved on to their latest Rugby World Cup base of Dunedin. Brian O’Driscoll fills us in on the players’ travels in his latest O2 Rugby blog.

The move to Dunedin has seen the weather get a little colder but no one is complaining. One thing that has struck me is the difference in the weather in New Zealand in June and September/October: it’s been a pleasant surprise.

We went to an authentic Japanese restaurant – about 10 of us – and had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. We traded old war stories and ate octopus amongst other things.

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I played cards with Sexto (Jonathan Sexton), ROG (Ronan O’Gara) and Leo (Cullen) and managed to win a few bob, which balances things nicely on the financial scale.

The support we have received in New Zealand has been incredible and a journey from the team room to the lifts has taken about 15 or 20 minutes as we sign autographs. People have spent an awful lot of money and invested time to cheer us on, so it is the least we can do.

On the bus journey Sean O’Brien was very excited by the landscape, particularly the size of the farms and the number of cattle in the fields. It’s fair to say that he’s the only one who has declared this interest. He’s taken over the John Hayes mantle in this respect!

We had a Maori lady play guitar and sing for us at Rotorua Airport as we boarded our flight to Dunedin. Damien Varley asked if she would lend him the guitar and immediately and impressively belted out a couple of Christy Moore numbers.

He was immediately fined for upstaging the lady! Denis Leamy is very disgruntled about being usurped having been our go-to man in the past for singing.

There’s only so many times you can listen to ‘Ride On’! Given Varley’s star turn, there is an undertaking to purchase a guitar with some of the fines’ money.

Related Links –

Brian’s blogs are on www.O2.ie/rugby.

Brian’s Blog: Berets, Dubs And Beautiful Taupo

Follow the Ireland team in New Zealand on www.twitter.com/irfurugby.