| 10.5°C Dublin

Blarney Army's trek to cheer our lads

A SEA of tricolour camper vans are lining up in Wellington ahead of the World Cup quarter final.

A dedicated group of former An Post colleagues have stretched their meticulously planned budget to buy up tickets for the game.

The friends have travelled over 4,5000km across the two islands in New Zealand on their massive adventure.

Organiser Eoin Morgan had pre-planned their stay in hotels, transport and match tickets and even worked out a budget for their fuel expenses.

But because they couldn't anticipate which quarter final Ireland would qualify for, the pals took a chance and left their purchases until the last minute. Thankfully it paid off -- even though they had to fork out hundreds of dollars on the golden tickets.

"After Saturday night, we legged it back to the hotel," Eoin told the Herald. "The only category left were those for $369 and $499 each. We kind of had to buy the tickets at that stage."

The group, made up of Eoin, Joe Crowley, Peter Oman and Tony Harmon, has managed to keep the trip budget under €7,000 for flights, accommodation, transport and petrol.

Eoin said that the scheme for the journey was hatched in Briody's pub, in Marlborough Street, Dublin.

The pals are planning on returning home through Auckland after the quarter finals.

"It's absolutely buzzing here. Already the camper vans are congregating on the port," he said.

"We've been called the Blarney Army but most New Zealanders say to us 'awesome, way to go Ireland' mainly after we beat Australia."

"It's amazing to see some of the campervans -- they're called the Tullow Tanks, To Hell or To Connaught. They all have flags, bunting, everything hanging out. There is a sea of tricolours. It's been a great trip, we've seen more of the country than anyone could imagine."

The group has no doubt about the Irish team's ability in the match at the weekend." They have the skill to do it," Eoin said. "It's a big ask but they can do it."

clairemurphy@herald.ie