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Thursday 8 December 2016

Rugby heroes mingle with fans as squad show their colours for Croker

Jamie Heaslip
Jamie Heaslip
An Ireland fan before the Rugby World Cup match at The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

The Ireland rugby team spent the day after their World Cup victory over Canada mingling with travelling fans, relaxing and taking in the sights.

A day after their formidable victory in Cardiff, the squad, management and support staff spent the day relaxing and taking in the All-Ireland football final on TV.

The Irish Rugby Twitter account uploaded a photo showing Irish rugby captain Paul O'Connell out chatting to fans whilst being "shoulder to shoulder" with the throngs of supporters clad in green at Stratford Upon Avon.

The English town is about 100 miles north east of Cardiff and the team stopped there for some food and entertainment before getting back on the road.

Cian Healy took to Instagram to say it was "a beautiful place to stop off" and even uploaded a video of two musicians entertaining the rugby heroes as they had their lunch.

A few members of the team had eyes on news coming from home too though, as the All-Ireland football final played out in Croke Park.

Sean Cronin, hooker for both Leinster and Ireland, joked about offering "the bus driver a few quid" to ensure they'd make the start of the match.

Cian Healy had no problem showing where his allegiances lay when he posted "Up the Dubs!" on his Twitter page prior to throw in at 3.30.

The Irish Rugby Twitter page were more impartial when they tweeted their support to both teams.

The team clearly enjoyed watching the match, if post game tweets are anything to go by.

At full-time, Ian Madigan tweeted Dublin player Paul Flynn congratulating him and saying he was "delighted" for both his and Dublin's success.

Ireland's next game is against Romania and it takes place in Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday.

In the mean time they'll have a few days to recuperate.

Jamie Heaslip also took to social media to thank the travelling fans for creating a "sea of green" in Cardiff.

Of the 68,000-strong crowd at the game, it seemed at least 60,000 were Irish during the victory over Canada.

He later shared pictures of the team taking part in some archery practice to relax.

They'll be hoping the travelling support replicates the atmosphere that was on offer in the Millennium stadium.

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