When you reach the highest levels of Rugby, international travel is a given. Players who make their national squads crisscross the globe throughout the year to represent their countries on the Rugby pitch. And that’s on top of grueling national league schedules. While on the road, the less these players have to worry about, the more they can focus on their game. Reliable logistics support plays a key role.
As the Ireland national rugby union team was packing up for Round 1 of the Natwest 6 Nations, former Ireland international hooker Shane Byrne caught up with three players – Quinn Roux, Dan Leavy, and Johnny Sexton – along with IRFU Head of Operations, Gerard Carmody, at their hotel in Dublin to talk about the logistics of international Rugby. He also put the lads through the DHL Good Hands challenge.
What we’re trying to do is to make sure that when we’re away from home, it’s a home away from home.Gerard Carmody, IRFU Head of Operations
What do you have to do to help your players perform on the road the way they do at home?
“What we’re trying to do is to make sure that when we’re away from home, it’s a home away from home,” says Gerard Carmody, IRFU Head of Operations. In other words, make sure they feel like they’re in good hands.
That’s why it so important that team operations run like a well-oiled machine. The smoother things go, the less the players have to worry about.
“There’s a huge operation that goes on behind [the scenes],” says Carmody. “Whether it’s a scrum machine or hit shields – large heavy items – right through to the smaller items, whether it’s a pair of boots or a gum shield.”
Carmody says that it’s important to make “sure the players have comfort in knowing that when they get there that everything is arranged and settled for them.”
Having the right gear is key for our preparation.Johnny Sexton
The players agree.
“It’s brilliant,” says Ireland’s veteran Fly Half, Johnny Sexton. “No matter where we go in the world, we have the same stuff – at a home game or as if we are playing in Australia. Having the right gear is key for our preparation. DHL makes it happen.”
Carmody says that having a global logistics partner is absolutely vital to his operations. It’s “having that backup and knowing we can move something very very quickly to anywhere in the world.”
Who has Good Hands?
Anyone who has played or even watched Rugby knows that good hands are an essential part of the game. From the under 5s to the international stars, good hands are the foundation of good Rugby.
In order to highlight the concept of “good hands” and have a little fun with the boys from IFRU, we put them through the DHL Good Hands Challenge. Have a look.
Read more about Good Hands here.