Wednesday 20 March 2019

Rugby World Cup diary: Wembley fresh in Irish memories

Ireland won on their first visit to the home of English football back in 1999, but Joe Schmidt and a host of his squad have more recent experience of the venue from Leinster’s win over Saracens in October 2010
Ireland won on their first visit to the home of English football back in 1999, but Joe Schmidt and a host of his squad have more recent experience of the venue from Leinster’s win over Saracens in October 2010
Spring in his step: Cian Healy performs a vertical jump as the Irish squad take to the gym during yesterday’s training session at the team base in St George’s Park BRENDAN MORAN / SPORTSFILE

Cian Tracey and Ruaidhri O'Connor

Wembley Way brings back memories of Wales' sojourn in London when the Cardiff Arms Park was becoming the Millennium Stadium, with Scott Gibbs' famous try against England the moment that jumps first to mind.

Ireland won on their first visit to the home of English football back in 1999, but Joe Schmidt and a host of his squad have more recent experience of the venue from Leinster's win over Saracens in October 2010.

Johnny Sexton was the star of the show in that 25-23 win and was one of eight players involved who are in Ireland's World Cup squad.

The game was overshadowed by former Springbok World Cup winner and then Sarries director of rugby Brendan Venter's post-match rant, but those who were there might remember the bizarre sideshow that the English club put on.

Rapper Tinie Tempah played at half-time, the posts were red and the tannoy frequently piped in music during play, but most strange was the sight of the Saracens mascot - a camel - doing laps of the pitch on a segway with a Chilean flag in his hand to celebrate the recent escape of the trapped miners in Copiapó.

Ireland fans flock to buy Japan jersey

In light of Japan's incredible victory over South Africa, Irish supporters have rushed to show their support to everyone's favourite 'second team'.

LifeStyle sports announced that they are sold out of the Brave Blossoms' jerseys, making it the third highest selling World Cup jersey behind those of Ireland and the All Blacks.

Prior to the famous win, only a single Japanese jersey had been sold but within 48 hours, the store had completely sold out.

All aboard the bandwagon.

Quote of the day

"We've a day off on Thursday where a few lads are going to Alton Towers. A few lads are going golfing in The Belfry. Some boys are going shooting. The backs are going shopping in Birmingham, I think."

- Paul O'Connell shares a joke at the Ireland backs' expense

Number of the day

1.3 The number of millions of euros that South African out-half Handré Pollard has insured his kicking foot for.

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