Postcard from South Africa - Andy Vilk (Tuesday)
The last 24 hours have been pretty busy. We had a really nice meal at the Bab Al Sham, which is in the desert and Phil Greening paid for it which was nice. Our flight to South Africa was not until four in the morning so there was a lot of hanging around at the airport. We all tried to get some sleep at the airport and on the plane but it wasn't great. It is hard to stick to your diet and hydration regime when you are travelling as plane food isn't the best but I managed to grab a muffin at Jo'burg airport and some powerade.
We eventually arrived in George and it was really nice to see the sun shining at last as the weather in Dubai was terrible. Some of the players are threatening to use fake tan before they go home! George is a very pretty town and as soon as we arrived at the hotel we went for a quick stretch session on the beach. We ended up playing rounders and although my team didn't win, we did have a moral victory as we got to make our assistant coach Phil Greening look like an idiot as he can't catch!
We went out for a quick meal in the evening which was actually quite a nice bonding experience for the team as when we eat in the hotel we normally just eat our food really quickly and then leave the table so it was good to chat.
We all got an early night and most people slept for about ten or 11 hours as we were allowed a lie in this morning. After breakfast and monitoring we went to Virgin Active for a weights session. I enjoy doing weights and we don't get much chance to do gym work when we are away with sevens so it was a good morning. After lunch we had our first full training session. The pitch we used wasn't the greatest but it was good to get the boots on again. Everyone was so disappointed with the loss in the semi finals in Dubai last weekend, so the training session was useful as we begin to focus on the George tournament which begins on Friday. We have three more sessions before the tournament and it was a really good training session.
Rob Thirlby and I have been duty boys today and I am determined to get the top marks (all the duty boys are scored out of ten). Being a duty boy involves helping the manager collecting the dirty kit, tidying up and generally helping out. It tends to get quite competitive!
Then tonight we had dinner at the hotel and I had some treatment from our physio Mike Snelling. Then I had a one to one review session with Phil Greening before getting another early night. We have two training sessions tomorrow so I need to get some sleep.