Adrenaline rush for Ireland

(Rugby News Service) Sunday 4 September 2011
Adrenaline rush for Ireland
Ireland scrum half Conor Murray relished his bungee-jump in Queenstown

QUEENSTOWN, 4 Sept. - Queenstown, an adrenaline haven for daredevils, has been keeping Ireland's players on their toes.

Before kicking off their Rugby World Cup campaign against USA in New Plymouth on 11 September,  the Irish players decided to get the blood pumping early in the resort town in Central Otago, in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island.

There's no shortage of action there, but the world-famous bungee jumps proved the biggest drawcard for the Irish, whose biggest on-field rush in the tournament will come on 17 September when they face Australia at Auckland's Eden Park.

Conor Murray was suitably impressed. "You really do fear for your life the second you jump off," said the beaming scrum half.

"Then in a few seconds you realise there's a rope there and you feel safe again. You realise you're in the air free-falling and it's a great buzz. I'd recommend it to anyone, it's brilliant. It's the biggest rush ever."

But despite its popularity, not all the players were sold.

"It wouldn't really be my cup of tea to be honest," admitted prop Tom Court, no doubt echoing the thoughts of many others. "I wouldn't be able to convince my body to jump off the platform."

Broken bones

The players also indulged in some jet-boating and tackled the Skyline Luge, a gravity ride of varying difficulty winding some 800m down through the trees and offering breathtaking views of Queenstown.

The latter had some hair-raising moments, according to wing Tommy Bowe.

"There was almost a few broken bones and a few bodies knocked out of the World Cup," he joked.

"I wasn't great to be honest. I was just trying to knock people off the road. The more people I could injure or knock off the road, that was success for me."

No surprise then to learn that Bowe is on Ireland's three-man social committee, along with hooker Rory Best and scrum half Isaac Boss.

"It was good craic and a lot of fun. A happy team off the pitch is a happy team on it," Bowe said.

RNS ct/mj/sw