"A week involving something as unusual as the Munster Race can disrupt a player's routine somewhat. Despite the fact that it presents a welcome break from preseason training, the hectic schedule and large amount of travelling take a couple of days to recover from. Therefore, everyone's weekend seemed to be particularly quiet and inactive. Mine involved a minimal amount of time spent outside the four walls of my home in Cork.
With everyone fully recovered, we were back to business on Monday morning. The realisation has hit home with the squad that we are only two weeks away from our first preseason game and only four away from playing Edinburgh in round one of the Guinness PRO12, which will be the curtain raiser to a new season of rugby in Thomond Park. Everyone has become reasonably familiar with the playing method we will be employing for the coming year. As a result, we can now begin to fine tune the more minute details of our attack and defence in the hope that we will hit the ground running.
After six gruelling weeks we can now see the light at the end of a very dark S&C tunnel. For those of us who started preseason on day one, there are only a couple of brutal weeks left before we settle in to match preparation. Training volume decreases significantly when games begin in an effort to maximise performance and minimise fatigue and injury. However, the staff certainly have no intention of winding things down as preseason draws to a close. Realising that a limited time remains where they have free rein to inflict as much pain and suffering on us as they possibly can, the intensity has been ramped up once again. Friday saw us being put through the most horrific conditioning session that I have ever experienced as a rugby player. Even if I am only 23, I have experienced my fair share of preseason hardship and I am certainly not looking forward to what lies in store for us in week seven.
There was a very positive reaction to the tournament from the public, with crowds far exceeding what was anticipated. It was certainly a success and we are all looking forward to next year's competition already."
Duncan's Diary - Week 5
Duncan's Diary - Week 4
Duncan's Diary - Week 3
Duncan's Diary - Week 2
Duncan's Diary - Week 1