Friday 25 May 2018

Lineout magazine's ultimate guide to following Irish rugby team's summer tour Down Under

A view of AAMI Park Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne, Australia. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
A view of AAMI Park Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne, Australia. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

For fans embarking on their own Antipodean odyssey following the Irish rugby squad on their summer tour, Lineout magazine has the ultimate survival guide to the host cities of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney

How do you follow a Grand Slam? With an epic, three- test series in Australia, of course. Ireland last won against the Wallabies on Australian soil 38 years ago and it's a record that the Irish squad will be looking to set right when they arrive down under in June.

Travel writer David Walsh has compiled a seriously useful travelling fan's survival guide with insider intel on where to grab a bite to eat and a cold beer before the rivalry heats up on the pitch.

His feature in today's Lineout magazine, published free with today's Irish Independent offers suggestions on where to go between games and how to make your Antiopodean travels really memorable by taking in some exciting surf and road trips. 

Jonathan Sexton during the kickers practice ahead of British and Irish Lions game against Queensland Reds in 2013 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Jonathan Sexton during the kickers practice ahead of British and Irish Lions game against Queensland Reds in 2013 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

The three-test series kicks off in Brisbane at the Sunscorp Stadium on June 9. Walsh says "if Australians are known for one thing, it’s for not taking themselves too seriously, and in ‘Bris Vegas’, the relaxed Aussie approach to life is more apparent than anywhere else Down Under.

The city basks in some 300 days of sunshine per year, going some way to explaining why Brisbanites flock to the bars and beer gardens along the Brisbane river, a wide serpentine waterway which eases its way through the high rises and lush green spaces of this understated northern gem.

After Brisbane and before the Melbourne game at AAMI Park on June 16, Walsh suggest staying in Queensland, a thrill-seeker’s paradise, and explore the Gold Coast which is a surfers’ nirvana. 

While they are all celebrating Bloomsday back in Ireland, the travelling rugby fans will be game on in Melbourne which is  "the capital of sport; undoubtedly the best sports precinct in the world.”

That's the view of Catherine Murphy, a former RTE Sport journalist from Cavan who has worked in the city for the past 11 years covering rugby for Australian broadcaster ABC.

Walsh interviewed her and got the low down on the city from her plus tips on where to eat before the game. If you want to pass for a Melburnian, there's one lager you need to know about.

An Ireland flag pictured Ireland v Namibia at Aussie Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in 2003. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE *EDI*
An Ireland flag pictured Ireland v Namibia at Aussie Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in 2003. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

Last stop in the Lineout guide is Sydney where the game takes place at the Allianz Stadium on June 23. Walsh says "celebrations are what the city does best, so where better to end the test series; whether in the sweet ecstasy of victory or drowning our sorrows in defeat.

If you’re a northern hemisphere ski bum, there's good news. The ski season on Mount Kosciuszko, a five and half hour drive from Sydney, starts in June.

Sweet!

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