North Wales Training Camp Diary – Part 1

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Fergus Taylor, resplendant with Freeze Hat & The Fez enjoying the sunshine of North Wales

The OURFC Blues squad departed early on Monday morning for their week long training camp in North Wales. With their first fixture of the World University Rugby Cup rapidly approaching, Sunday 13th September v Waseda University from Japan, the hard sessions and  time spent together will serve a particularly importance purpose over the coming weeks and months. The 214.3 mile journey from Iffley Road to Llandudno was however not without its perils. An emergency root canal, tyre explosions and several lost cars wondering aimlessly along the M6, were some of the challenges the players encountered ‘en route’ to the destination. Oxford will face many challenges over the coming season, luckily in keeping with the spirit of this great club morale was strong. As one member put it: ‘Our tyre pressure is low but our spirits are high.’

All of the tribulations were worth it, as the cars descended down the hills of ‘God’s Country’ (James Wade, 2015) the beautiful surroundings of this sunny beach town were welcomed by the players. The majority of the squad arrived on time, except however for Mr Geiger, who informed management that his house was a mere 10 minutes away from Knutsford Services, and that he would pop in and say hello to his family. After a four course meal there was no surprise who of the touring party arrived last!

Once unpacked the boys were allocated their training camp roles, Tom Stileman (youngest player) has kept the ‘fiery pink dragon’ mascot in impeccable condition, a stark contrast to the now disintegrated ‘Snoopy’ in Russia. Nick Roberts-Huntley (tour hugger) has attempted to reduce his contact with the outside world, hoping to avoid his duties of embracing new people that he meets. Rest assured we are looking forward to seeing Nick continue in his role through to our visit to Bank of America on Friday! More information about these roles will be discussed in the following camp diaries.

The squad moved to Eirias Park, a state of the art facility with an indoor training pitch and world class gym. The walls still showcased the motivational slogans for the Welsh national team who had visited the complex a few weeks ago. Following a gym session and skills to blow out the journey we were kindly provided free access to the local cinema to see ‘Straight outta Compton.’ There were mixed reviews from the camp, one member regarded it as ‘the best film they have ever seen’ whilst another stated ‘what a load of garbage.’ At the very least it provided an enormous amount of information for our resident band, which will look to produce an inspired version on Tuesday night entitled ‘Straight out of Iffley.’  The boys settled in to the very charming hostel in Llandudno ready for an early start and a ‘gentle swim’ in the morning.

Dark Blue and Out.

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