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So this time of year is always an exciting one for us as players, not just because of the buzz around Christmas but the big local derby fixtures against the rival provinces!
We've been busy in Europe over the last couple of weeks with back to back games against Clermont, however while they included two defeats we managed to get two losing bonus points out of the games and we could still be alive in the competition.
Now our focus turns to the local games against Leinster on Stephens’s Day and Connacht on New Year's Day. A few sacrifices have to be made around this time of year due to the timings of these games, but you'd have it no other way, these are great games to play in. It just means taking it easy on the turkey and chocolates on Christmas day and straight into bed after a New Year’s toast with a protein shake as opposed to a beer!
In between the training and match preparation, the shopping for presents also has to be wrapped up, something which I always leave until the last minute! As I write this, I'm actually in the car (passenger seat!) en- route to Cork with both my sisters, Sarah and Aisling. They come in very handy when it comes to picking out the presents for everyone. They are both into running and keeping fit, so I've already been to Life Style Sports in Limerick and picked them out a few cool training accessories which they'll be delighted with. No doubt they'll guilt me into buying them some more stuff in Cork for helping me with the other presents though!
All in all I really enjoy this time of year, it's nice to catch up with people you don't get to see that often during the year and reflect on what's been a great year. I’m really looking forward to 2015 with lots going on, on and off the pitch, please God.
Merry Christmas to everyone!