We arrived in Cork airport at around 6pm Saturday, 10th August for an 8.40pm flight to London Stanstead for our first match of the season against the Irish Exiles in The Oratory School in Reading, the school of England international Danny Cipriani.
We got to Stanstead with a 3 hour bus journey ahead of us, so we didn't arrive at the school until around 1am Sunday morning. We headed straight to bed, but not before Johnny Keane (backrow) and Jack O' Halloran (prop) had time to make their own player profile videos for Sky Sports... Link to follow!
The squad had an early start for breakfast before heading out to watch the Munster U18 Clubs game who were also on tour taking on the Exiles. The conditions were perfect and we were all anxious to get our season off to a good start.
Unfortunately our first half performance was well below par and the Exiles blew us off the pitch in every aspect of the game. We then got a badly needed shoeing at half time from Keith (Head Coach) and BOC (Assistant Coach) and turned it around, winning the second half comfortably. The damage was done in the first 35 minutes though, with a lot of us very disappointed with our performances.
We then flew home from Heathrow Sunday evening after a trip to forget, with all eyes turning to Friday's game against the Italy U20's. Team manager Gary Collins unfortunately broke down due to his fear of flying, but we got him on eventually.
We then had two training sessions in Bruff RFC on Tuesday, with Ben Martin (Assistant Coach) supplying the food and Ed O'Keeffe (centre) and Robbie Deegan (centre) preparing a very dodgy lunch for us after the first session, we didn't really expect much from the two Limerick boys anyway!
Marcus Horan came out for the morning and passed on some scrummaging tips to the lads as well as trying to get our heads in the right frame of mind for Friday, he's some man to talk!
Friday is the next step with the Italy game in Musgrave Park at 6.30pm. All support would be hugely appreciated as a win would give us some great momentum heading into our 3 match tour to Cardiff.
Munster U19s Interprovincial Fixtures:
Sat. 7th Sept. Ulster U19 v Munster U19, Ravenhill, k.o. 1.30p.m.
Sat. 14th Sept. Munster U19 v Leinster U19, Musgrave Park, k.o. 2.30pm
Sat. 21st Sept. Connacht U19 v Munster U19, venue TBC