Saturday 24 June 2017

Twitter feels the heat as rugby stars feel the cold

Kevin Keane

THEY are among the toughest men in sport.

But Ireland's rugby players have been doing plenty of moaning about the cold as they settle in to their Rugby World Cup base in New Zealand.

With temperatures plunging to -2C overnight, many reacted in a most modern manner -- by tweeting.

Thumbs and fingers were generating plenty of heat at the Irish camp yesterday as the players, fresh from their 36-hour flight, got to grips with the Kiwi 'spring'. Snow was clearly visible on the mountains above Queenstown as the players began training, and more wintry showers are forecast.

"Feelin de cold in Queenstown, awesome place wit amazing scenery though," Sean Cronin tweeted.

"Off for my first training session in NZ but the thermals will be packed as it is freezing at the min," his fellow forward Stephen Ferris said.

Ferris was also asking the locals to recommend a "barber or a hairdresser".

But while Ferris and Cronin were both remarking about the freezing temperatures, Jamie Heaslip was more taken with the fun he could have in the snow.

"Man Queenstown is amazing! Raging I can't go snowboarding! Now that would help beat the jet lag! Unbelievable Irish presence already here!" Heaslip tweeted.

He later posted a picture of Lake Wakatipu, which laps up on the shoreline next to the squad's hotel.

According to Heaslip, some of the players took a "dip" in the lake following training, an experience he assured his fans was cold.

No such protestations were heard from Paul O'Connell. As a teenager, the Limerick man was a star swimmer -- so the cold water did not put him off .

"View from my bedroom. Queenstown. Not bad. Just swam in there by the way," he told his 26,000 followers with characteristic understatement.

The Irish players have just over a week until they face the USA in their first match, giving some a little time to take care of last-minute business.

Cian Healy, who is joining the squad late because of an eye injury, was stocking up on listening material.

"Getting audio books for my travels because 'I need to rest my eye'. Ha, what an excuse! Finally guilt free audiobooking."

Tommy Bowe, meanwhile, was pining away for his girlfriend.

Female followers of the heart-throb winger will have watched his Twitter feed with despair as he told his girlfriend, Miss Wales, Lucy Whitehouse, that he missed her.

Hugh Farrelly talks to Ronan O'Gara: See Sport pages 64 and 65

Irish Independent

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