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#ShoulderToShoulder: Tour Diary – Day 3

#ShoulderToShoulder: Tour Diary – Day 3

Day three of Ireland’s summer tour showed once again the great spirit that exists in world rugby and the reach of the Irish worldwide.

Day 3 – Warm Welcome At Hurling Club

A media session at 8am for Conor Murray, Jonathan Sexton, Chris Henry, Mike Ross and scrum coach Greg Feek is followed by breakfast in the team room which has the most amazing view across the city to the famous river Plate.

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A gym session with strength & conditioning coach Jason Cowman in the morning to keep the fitness levels just right is followed by an amazing day at the Hurling Club in Buenos Aires.

The name alone should tell you that there are strong Irish connections but the fact that their rugby team wear green with a shamrock crest just cements the links.

The tradition dates back some 60 years to a time when the Ireland team were touring Argentina and the club asked permission to copy the colours and crest – possibly the only club in the world to be allowed to wear the national kit of a national team.

Argentina has the largest population of people of Irish descent outside of the English speaking world and their affection for ‘home’ is palpable.

Over 300 Hurling Club members and children from local schools turned out to watch the Ireland squad train.

Head coach Joe Schmidt invited a number of Hurling’s first team to train with the lads and also gave a coaching clinic afterwards – his generosity rewarded by the warmth of the welcome received.

No matter where the Ireland players travel they are always delighted to see the supporters and meet the locals and today was an opportunity to do both.

Afterwards the players were mobbed for autographs and photos and it was amazing to hear the young Argentine boys and girls calling the Irish players’ names.

The day ended with an amazing BBQ and there was definitely steak on the menu! The locals were joined by forwards coach John Plumtree who seemed perfectly happy to cook the steaks.

The spirit of rugby and of Ireland is alive and well in the Hurling Club and after the traditional exchange of gifts, the club’s first team players concluded the evening with a song for Schmidt’s men.

Related Links –

#ShoulderToShoulder: Tour Diary – Day 1 And 2

Irish Rugby TV: Conor Murray On First Test Preparations