You might have heard the one before about George’s number plates? Not? Okay, here goes! What does CAW on George’s number plates stand for? Cold And Wet!
Well, Dublin’s not the George CAW this week, but rather Cold And Windy – not to be scoffed at. Before the Springboks departed from South Africa, everyone ensured they had their wet weather gear handy, but it’s not been needed (yet) this week.
Yes, it’s not warm, but the fact that the rain stayed away, has been good as the Boks got five very good sessions in before their day off on Thursday. The wind has seen the temperatures drop, but training in sunlight, even though it’s quite chilly, is always lekker for South Africans.
The Boks are staying in a hotel situated roughly 20km south east of the Dublin city centre in a quiet seaside town called Dalkey. Apparently famous people like U2’s Bono and The Edge, as well as Van Morrison and Sir Bob Geldof all come from or live in this part of Ireland (although none of them have been spotted yet).
Apart from the regular attack, defence and set piece training during their field sessions, the Bok pack had an interesting excursion to the fields of Blackrock College RFC on Tuesday morning, where they took part in a scrum study conducted by the International Rugby Board (IRB) in conjunction with the University of Bath in Dublin on Tuesday.
The unprecedented programme, called “Biomechanics of the Rugby Scrum”, was launched by the IRB in 2010 and is being run in conjunction with the University of Bath in England, who are using state-of-the-art testing and measuring techniques to ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to assessing one of the game's most recognisable and important facets.
Basically, the front rankers are wired up to a massive contraption with pads on their shoulders and measuring equipment on their heads, which then provides the researchers with the information they need. The study is due to be finished in 2013.
There is a nice buzz in the camp ahead of the Test against Ireland on Saturday, but the players and management realise it will not be easy against a fired-up opponent. A lot of people don’t realise it, but the Boks have found the going tough in Dublin in recent times, winning only one of their last four matches against the Irish in Ireland. Saturday’s match will again prove a proper Test for the men in green and gold.
Have a look on the our Facebook page for the latest pictures of the Boks on tour.