Watch: Ireland & England Battle It Out In Special Rugby Match

What a journey.

The Canterbury #RugbyFit campaign came to a close last week with Ireland and England battling it out in a special rugby match at Birmingham’s Mosely Rugby Club.

Over the last six weeks or so we took two teams through their paces in a bid to become #RugbyFit in time for the new season. We took a college from Ireland (Team RugbyLAD) and a college from England (Team RugbyDump) and paired them up with two fitness experts to see what kind of shape we could get them into, before making them take each other on in a match.

Week 1 – Initiation Week

In the first week of the programme, Fitness Coach Brian Keane and Head Coach Robbie Henshaw put the team through their paces with a fitness test to see what level of fitness they were at before starting the campaign as well as giving an overview of what the programme is going to entail.

The fitness test was a race; 20m Sprint around the rugby posts starting from a press up position then bear crawling back.

Week 2 – Strength

This week took place in the gym and was designed to help the lads strength and explosiveness, which is useful for things such as breaking through tackles, rucks, scrums and sprinting faster.

The strength test was to test the guys explosive power, the guys tested how many box over burpees they could do in 60 seconds.

Week 3 – Flexibility

Week 3 saw the lads hit the yoga studio lead by yoga expert Julie to focus on the 4 key body parts that help flexibility and keep the body fit which also helps in game.

The exercises were designed to really help stretch and focus the body to make it more supple and the flexibility test to follow was a side plank to failure which really tested the body and the balance of the players.

Week 4 – Speed

Brian and the team headed down to the beach to carry out their speed training as the resistance in the sand would make it a bit more difficult for the boys and really test their speed which would really help them in the Final against Team RugbyDump.

The Speed test was a simple 20m sprint around the cones and then back to see who was the fastest.

Week 5 – Agility

The final week saw the lads test out their agility.

The agility challenge saw Team RugbyLAD start on the floor in a press up position, weave in and out of poles, do a burpee on the other side, before sprinting back as fast as they can.

Week 6 – The Final

The final week saw the lads take each other on in a game at Mosely Rugby Club in Birmingham. The Irish lads had to grab an early flight out of Dublin and this was clearly evident as Team RugbyDump came racing out of the blocks, rushing into a two-try lead.

Team RugbyLAD however, found their feet and fought back with a couple of tries of their own, leaving us with a serious game on our hands as the #RugbyFit experiment really started to show its worth.

Both teams gave it their all for 80 minutes, but it was a win for the English in the end as Team RugbyDump took the lead late in the second half thanks to an intercept try. We can’t wait to welcome them to Ireland next year for the rematch!

The entire #RugbyFit programme is available here if your team fancies giving it a go.

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Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor at RugbyLAD. Any queries big or small you can reach him at [email protected]

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