A down day is a key factor in the week leading up to a Test match. The chance to switch off and relax from the intensity of training is as important as the training sessions and video analysis.
There is so much to do in Cape Town that the Ireland players were spoilt for choice and while some chose golf and others a trip to Table Mountain, the overwhelming choice was a helicopter ride followed by the chance to cage dive with great white sharks.
The chopper ride offered spectacular views of Cape Town and the surrounding country as this shot of Robbie Henshaw and Sean Reidy shows –
On arrival at Supreme Sharks in Gansbaai on the Western Cape, there was a scurry to find enough XXL wet-suits before the safety briefing!
The trip proved to be spectacular with seven great white sharks coming close to the boat. The largest measured 4 metres or just over ‘Two Devs’ – the new official Ireland team measure of sharks in comparison to Devin Toner.
Everywhere you go in Cape Town people are mad about rugby – from the chopper pilot to the boat skipper to the staff in the team hotel.
Everyone here is excited about Saturday’s first Test and after a day off to relax, the Irish squad will be focused and ready for the rest of the week’s training.
Arrival in Cape Town – A warm welcome and a dip in the sea
Training Day – An intense session against an incredible backdrop