The Sacred Heart University men’s club rugby team, The X-Men, spent their spring break touring the beautiful country of Ireland. In total, the team visited the three areas Dublin, Limerick and Dingle. Aside from sightseeing the team competed in a total of two match against Dublin City University and Limerick Institute of Technology.
The first stop on the tour was in the city of Dublin, where the team spent a total of three days and nights. Each day was packed with team activities, lunches and dinners. Arriving at the Dublin Airport at 5:00 a.m. the team was met by the lovely Grace M. Flannery, and adjunct professor for Sacred Heart University. From the airport we traveled to the accommodations in Dublin followed by a tour of the Guinness Storehouse. Each member of the teamed learned about the history of Guinness and how to pour a proper pint.
For the Second day in Dublin, the X-men had two team meals lunch and dinner at O’Neil’s on Grafton St. and JW Sweetmans. Right after breakfast, we traveled to the Irish Whiskey Museum to learn about how whiskey is truly intertwined with Irish history.
Our last day in Dublin was jam packed, stating the day off boarding the Lucas (train) to visit the Aviva Stadium, the Home of Irish rugby. The X-Men were able to see each of the team locker rooms and ending the tour by walking out of the tunnel and on to the pitch just as the teams would on game day. From the tour of the Aviva Stadium we squeezed in a quick lunch and hopped back on the Lucas to Temple University where we walked through the campus to get back to the team accommodation. With a short break in-between we quickly boarded a private bus to take us to our first match of the trip against Dublin City University. After the match we joined our host team for pizza party.
Day 4 of the trip took the X-Men to Limerick City, a 3 hour bus ride from Dublin. In Limerick, we toured Thomond Park home of Munster Rugby. The team learned about the history of Munster Rugby and saw how the team/sport progressed through the years with various title wins and equipment improvements. Finishing the tour with a group photo on the pitch.
From Thomond Park we enjoyed a team lunch at the Locke Bar followed by a training session at the University of Limerick hosted by Shane O’Rourke to prepare for the next day’s match against the Limerick Institute of Technology.
Our last day in Limerick consisted of our final match of the trip and a group lunch with our host team LIT and a 2.5 hour bus ride to our final stop of Dingle, Ireland.
Once in Dingle the team prepped for a packed two days of adventure. The weather opened up and the sun came out for our tour of Slea Head Drive which showed the true beauty of Ireland. We traveled up the coast line seeing the distant islands, steep cliffs, the area where some of Star Wars was filmed and taking a quick break so some of our rugby players could hold baby lambs
After the Slea Head drive tour the X-men had another training session but this one would be a bit different. The team instead of their normal practice of rugby learned how to play Gaelic Football.
With the tour coming to an end our final day kicked off with a Crossfit training session, followed by a team lunch. After lunch the X-Men headed to the Rugbai Chorca Dhuibhne Pitch for their final training session. From the pitch we were able to see the coast line, distant mountains and the second highest peak in Ireland.