Wednesday 16 October 2019

Lions stars land at Kildare's Carton House

Lions coach Warren Gatland
Lions coach Warren Gatland

Laura Butler

THE creme de la creme of British and Irish rugby have landed in Carton House for their second week of training as a squad before setting out on the 2013 Lions tour.

After touching down in the Co Kildare resort on yesterday, the players enjoyed a relatively easy going start to their stint on Irish shores.

The atmosphere was very relaxed this morning ahead of afternoon training and media session, with the players getting a chance to get comfortable with their surroundings.

So far there is little sign that the majority of the talented 37 squad are in residence, except for a few wandering red shirts and the convoy of parked Land Rovers - one of the tour sponsors - emblazoned with the official Lions emblem, outside the main building.

Welsh scrum half Mike Phillips and centre Jamie Roberts spent an hour in the lounge, happily chatting with fans and signing a few autographs.

Carton House will continue as the Lions' base until Friday. The players and coaching staff will re-group on Sunday evening for an official farewell dinner in London and then fly to Hong Kong ahead of their first match together, against the Barbarians.

Munster talisman Paul O'Connell is the only Irish player in attendance today, with the Ulster and Leinster contingent preparing for the Rabo Direct Pro 12 final on Saturday at the RDS.

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