Tuesday 21 November 2017

All Blacks go for golf clubs rather than nightclubs ahead of Ireland Test

Aaron Smith of the New Zealand All Blacks hits golf balls on the driving range with Andrew Hore and Tom Taylor at the Castleknock Golf Club
Aaron Smith of the New Zealand All Blacks hits golf balls on the driving range with Andrew Hore and Tom Taylor at the Castleknock Golf Club
Tom Taylor of the New Zealand All Blacks hits golf balls on the driving range watched by Aaron Smith and Andrew Hore at the Castleknock Golf Club
Aaron Smith of the New Zealand All Blacks hits golf balls
Tom Taylor of the New Zealand All Blacks hits golf balls on the driving range at the Castleknock Golf Club
Tom Taylor
Aaron Smith
Tom Taylor
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Unlike their southern hemisphere neighbours, New Zealand rugby players are opting for golf clubs over nightclubs.

Less than a week ago, some members of the Australian rugby team went on a late-night drinking session in the VIP section of well-known Dublin nightclub Krystle until 3am before the weekend game.

Six players were handed a one-match ban and a further nine players were sanctioned by their coach Ewen McKenzie.

But it seems that the All Blacks, struggling Ireland's opposition on the rugby pitch this Sunday, have decided to avoid such negative publicity and keep things low key by practising their golf swings.

New Zealand players Tom Taylor, Andrew Hore and Aaron Smith arrived in Dublin and were snapped practicing their golf.

And the venue of Castleknock Golf Club couldn't have been further from the exclusive celebrity haunt chosen by the Aussies. Not exactly dressed for the occasion, the players, wearing runners and tracksuits, hit practice balls from the mats at the golf resort.

While they are rightly feared as the best rugby players in the world, onlookers commented on how their prowess with a golf club left much to be desired.

The Irish team will be hoping for a similar performance for Sunday's Test match at the Aviva stadium.

Meanwhile, the government has agreed to approach ministers in the North about launching a bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

A government spokesman confirmed that the plan has been given the green light by cabinet.

"The cabinet has given the thumbs up to the proposal and contact will be made now with the Tourism and Sport Ministers in the North," a spokesman said.

Officials will now contact the GAA about the prospect of securing agreement to use its stadiums. The successful bidder will be announced in 2017.

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