Jump to main content


Tour Diary – Team Announcement Day

Tour Diary – Team Announcement Day

Thursday is team announcement day for the Ireland squad but there is plenty more to be packed into the day as the first Test against South Africa approaches.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For an international rugby player that’s true of every meal. Fuelling the body for a Test match is a science – but the fuel can be very tasty as this spread at the team hotel shows:

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

 Players are monitored every day by the medical staff and the tests include question on sleep, hydration levels and a variety of functional movement exercises using the Kitman Labs app.

Squad meetings, unit meetings and walk-throughs follow breakfast and then it is off to training in Westerford High School.

The team is announced just after lunch and there is a lot of interest from the local media as well as the travelling Irish contingent. The press conference starts with head coach Joe Schmidt reading out the team followed by a top table interview with Joe and starting out-half Paddy Jackson.

Mike Ross, who will win his 60th cap in the front row, is up for the radio and online media, while Andy Farrell, Jordi Murphy and Robbie Henshaw take part in press and TV interviews and one-to-ones.

Meanwhile, the non-starting players are hitting the gym for a strength session as they seek to contribute to the total squad effort.

At dinner in the evening, the players and coaches are joined by the Irish Ambassador to South Africa, his excellency Liam MacGabhann, who tells them that they won’t lack for support from the large Irish population in South Africa – including a 93-year-old missionary nun who will be watching on Saturday afternoon.

Ireland captain Rory Best presents the Ambassador with a signed jersey in appreciation for his support throughout the trip.

Later that night, Joe Schmidt, team manager Mick Kearney and players Donnacha Ryan, Eoin Reddan and Richardt Strauss attend a fundraiser for Grey High School and are joined by former Ireland and Lions player Roger Young.

For the rest of the squad it’s a chance to work on some analysis and get an early night.

Tour Diary

Arrival in Cape Town – A warm welcome and a dip in the sea

Training Day – An intense session against an incredible backdrop

SharkCopter – A day of rest with great white sharks