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Rugby World Cup: Heroes' welcome at Burton base caps great few days for Ireland

By David Young

Published 22/09/2015

The Ireland squad on stage during the welcome ceremony at Burton Town Hall, Burton upon Trent, yesterday
The Ireland squad on stage during the welcome ceremony at Burton Town Hall, Burton upon Trent, yesterday
Paddy Jackson signs a shirt for a fan last night
Prince William has a laugh with Wales’ Jake Ball during their welcome ceremony in London

Ireland's rugby stars received a heroes' welcome last night in Burton upon Trent - the famous brewing town that will be their home for the 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign.

Over 400 people packed into a special welcome ceremony in Burton Town Hall featuring a performance of the official Rugby World Cup anthem, World in Union, sung by the choir of Alderman's Green Primary School choir.

The team looked smart - if a little uncomfortable - in their green caps and blazers as they penned autographs, posed for selfies and signed rugby memorabilia for their adoring fans.

World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper was on hand to present Tournament Caps and Rugby World Cup 2015 Participation Medals to the squad.

Irish Rugby sources last night said that the town of Burton had given "an amazing welcome" to the Ireland team.

East Staffordshire Mayor David Leese presented Ireland's team captain Paul O'Connell with an engraved tankard as a souvenir of their stay.

The team also proved popular with at least one local lady. Karen White, who uses the Twitter name RuggerHugger70, tweeted: "It was a privilege to be there. Always be a welcome in Burton for this team."

After their opening game canter against Canada, Ireland face tougher opposition in their next match when they travel to Wembley to take on Romania this Sunday.

Meanwhile in London, Prince William was on hand to welcome the Wales squad - including their luxuriantly-bearded lock Jake Ball - to the capital's 15th century Guildhall.

Belfast Telegraph

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