Saturday 27 May 2017

Eternally hopeful fans to cheer on Irish gladiators

Thomas Maloney outside The Colosseum ahead of Ireland's Six Nations game against Italy in Rome Photo: Ramsey Cardy
Thomas Maloney outside The Colosseum ahead of Ireland's Six Nations game against Italy in Rome Photo: Ramsey Cardy

Ian Begley

Shaken but not disheartened by the Scottish defeat, hopeful Irish rugby fans jetted off to Rome to cheer on the boys in green.

Although things did not go to plan for Ireland during the opening weekend of the Six Nations, fans are banking on a big performance from Joe Schmidt's men. The Stadio Olimpico, home of the 1960 Olympics, will be dotted in green jerseys as the rugby faithful congregate on the Eternal City.

Italian chef Andrea Fusco and Italy's head coach Conor O'Shea at a Bord Bia Chefs' Irish Beef Club (CIBC) event.
Italian chef Andrea Fusco and Italy's head coach Conor O'Shea at a Bord Bia Chefs' Irish Beef Club (CIBC) event.

This will be the eighth visit to the Italian capital for the Irish team since the country joined the Six Nations in 2000.

After the Scottish match, Schmidt complained that the team's slow start was partly to blame by a delay getting to Murrayfield.

The team were 15 minutes late arriving at the ground and it was later established that Scottish police had taken them on an alternative route to the stadium.

They arrived just as the pipe band begun its procession on to the pitch, leaving a bad note for the game ahead.

Click here to view full-size graphic
Click here to view full-size graphic

Today's match will be something of an emotional encounter for Conor O'Shea, who tackles his home country for the first time as Azzurri boss. Former Irish rugby star O'Shea took time out from his pre-match schedule yesterday to join Bord Bia for an Irish beef promotional event.

Irish Independent

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