No punches pulled as Leinster stars open up
MORE than a thousand Leinster fans got up close and personal with their sporting heroes at an open training session at Ashbourne Rugby Club in Co Meath.
The club kicked off its 40th anniversary celebrations by inviting the public to attend a full Leinster training session ahead of the upcoming season.
Ashbourne's director of rugby Roderick Cosgrave said around 1,200 people attended the session yesterday.
"They were doing what they would normally do in Donnybrook or in University College Dublin, but out in Ashbourne.
"They trained from 9.30am until 11am, running against each other and working on their fitness. They had a panel of about 35 out there," Mr Cosgrave added.
During the training, Rhys Ruddock took on fellow forward Mike McCarthy in a boxing drill. Other routines involved ball work and skill work, cardiovascular training, running patterns of play and going through potential game situations.
The team was joined by players from the Leinster Academy, in which up-and-comers are trained to a professional level.
The team will stage another open training session next Friday at 10.30am at Gorey Rugby Club in Co Wexford.
Leinster will play friendlies against Northampton Saints and Ulster on August 23 and August 30 in preparation for their first league game of the season away to Glasgow Warriors on September 5 at Scotstoun Stadium.
Other events to mark the Ashbourne clubs anniversary include a family open day at on August 31.