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Monday 5 December 2016

Size matters: Irish lock Devin Toner not allowed on rides at Alton Towers

Devin Toner, pictured, is ready to put his hand up for further World Cup selection against Romania on Sunday
Devin Toner, pictured, is ready to put his hand up for further World Cup selection against Romania on Sunday

The pros of standing out as the World Cup's tallest player shine through when Devin Toner leads Ireland's lineout, but the 6ft 11in lock felt the cons at Alton Towers.

As Ireland giants like Paul O'Connell and Donnacha Ryan squeezed their frames into the theme park's most daunting rides, Toner cut a frustrated bystander.

Too tall to lord it on the majority of the attractions, Toner was left to watch on as Ryan and company scared themselves witless.

"I won't lie I didn't really want to go to Alton Towers but I was roped into it, purely on the basis that I struggle to fit into any of the rides," said Munster second row Ryan.

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

"So it was more of a torture thing for me than anything else. Poor Devin Toner actually couldn't go on hardly any of them.

"But it was a good fun day out; there were some groggy heads that evening but it was good fun."

The Ireland squad split their day off last week between Alton Towers and golf at The Belfry, capitalising on their St George's Park base to enjoy the very best in Midlands entertainment.

Head coach Joe Schmidt's side eased past Romania 44-10 at Wembley last weekend, moving from their relaxed Staffordshire set-up right into the World Cup throng.

Ryan admitted it was exciting to get back into the hustle and bustle of the tournament and now expects more of the same in Sunday's clash with Italy at London's Olympic Stadium.

"I'm loving the whole experience to be honest, this time round I'm really enjoying it all," said Ryan.

"It was quite calm at St George's Park but when we came into Wembley the build-up was fantastic with all the fans were around.

"It definitely gives you a lot more perspective if you miss out on the last while there."

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