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Friday 9 December 2016

Enjoying the ride, lads? Irish rugby team hit theme park on their day off

Ireland players, clockwise from left, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie Heaslip and Conor Murray with a member of the public as they enjoy the Spinball ride at Alton Towers during a down day ahead of their Pool D match against Romania
Ireland players, clockwise from left, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie Heaslip and Conor Murray with a member of the public as they enjoy the Spinball ride at Alton Towers during a down day ahead of their Pool D match against Romania
Ireland players, front row, from left, Conor Murray, Keith Earls, Tadhg Furlong, Mike Ross and Jamie Heaslip with members of the public as they enjoy the Oblivion ride at Alton Towers during a down day ahead of their Pool D match against Romania
Ireland players, from left, Jamie Heaslip, Tadhg Furlong, Mike Ross, and Keith Earls as they enjoy the Skyride at Alton Towers during a down day ahead of their Pool D match against Romania. St George's Park, Burton-upon-Trent, England

They’re competing in one of the world’s biggest sporting contests, but the adrenaline rush of chasing the World Cup isn’t enough for the Irish rugby squad.

Ahead of their clash with Romania on Sunday, the team took time out from their gruelling training sessions and got their hearts racing from the dizzying heights at Alton Towers theme park.

Captain Paul O’Connell and his troops swapped rucks for rollercoaster rides and other amusements during their day off at the Staffordshire holiday resort, after kicking off their World Cup campaign with a decisive win over Canada in Cardiff’s Millennium stadium.

“Since we arrived at St George’s Park we have been incredibly well looked after,” the skipper said.

“A few lads are going to Alton Towers, some are going golfing at the Belfry, some boys are going shooting.

“And the backs, well, they’re  going shopping in Birmingham!”

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