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#ShoulderToShoulder: Tour Diary – Day 7, First Test

#ShoulderToShoulder: Tour Diary – Day 7, First Test

Match day is always special. This is what all the work is for, this is what everything has been leading to.

Day 7 – Match Day

The non-playing squad members head off for an early gym session with strength & conditioning coach Jason Cowman.

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There is a lot of food to be eaten by the players before they leave for the game as they need to store up the fuel levels ahead of the Test.

Bagman Willie Bennett leaves a few hours before the lads to set up the changing room and make sure everything is ready for them. Hanging up the jerseys is a special moment.

The coaches and players arrive and everyone is focused. Before you know it, the game has kicked off in the atmospheric Estadio Centenario.

A tough first Test ends in a win for Ireland but with plenty to work on for the coaches and players. This is the first time Ireland have won a fully capped international game in Argentina.

Afterwards there is dinner for the two sides, speeches, new caps to be presented and even a song from Paul O’Connell to mark his 100th Test match!

Then it is back to the team hotel where supporters from the IRFU Charitable Trust Walk and various tour parties greet the players.

Meanwhile, the analysis team of Mervyn Murphy and Vinny Hammond are hard at work until the small hours of the morning getting all the video work done so that Joe (Schmidt) and the squad can review the game and start all over again for next weekend.