We spent most of the day taking in the sights and sounds of London. We started with a tour of Twickenham Stadium — the mecca for rugby in England. As you can see in the video above, we also had quite a lot of fun outside the stadium trying to recreate the statue that rests in front of this monument to rugby.
Seamus Fitzgerald — one of the scholarship winners — performed this awesome haka also!
After Twickenham we headed to the offices of Premiership Rugby for lunch. Afterwards we took a boat tour on the River Thames and got a birds-eye view of the city from the London Eye. We also had two hours of free time for some sightseeing.
In the evening we made our way to the BT Sport studios to attend and participate in a taping of the sports television show Rugby Tonight. We had a great time and got to meet former Ireland international Brian O’Driscoll and English international referee Wayne Barnes.
A long day
It was great to spend the day free from thinking about the coaching curriculum. I think we all needed the break to recharge the mind and get ready for the second leg of the trip.
But we spent a lot of time on our feet today and had to chase down trains and busses regularly. Even though it was a lot of fun, we were all exhausted at the end of the day.
Key learning points/observations
- London is passionate about rugby. This is evident from the dedicated stadia, statues, etc…
- At least 5 teams were present at the television show taping. I felt that the media did a great job of highlighting both men’s and women’s rugby.
Today was a break from the curriculum, so I don’t have any specific observations or takeaways to apply to my coaching activities. I’ll return to this in my next blog.
Tomorrow we spend time with two more clubs — London Irish and London Scottish — and will complete a pair of educational modules before the day is done.