The Season is Peaking…Ulster need a little help.

The Match against Connaught was a battle between two sets of brave men. The Ulster team lived up to their traditions of defeating the visitors, who have not won at the Kingspan since 1960 – 56 years of heartache. The expectations were higher this year as the West of Ireland Province brought a much better record than in previous years, but it was not to be. Indiscipline cost them, as they were down to 13 men following two yellow cards, but those 13 defended their line as if their lives depended on it, and held firm to prevent Ulster getting a winning bonus point. With the season heading to a conclusion, Ulster need all the points they can get to make it to the play offs, and a little help is required from other matches as well as the need to win all their own games.

The Rugby season is demanding. Training and playing week in, week out takes a toll on the body, and keeping healthy as well as fit pays off. By healthy I mean trying to eat well, avoiding any bugs that may be around, which is difficult when you have small children, and getting the right balance between rest and activity. Being fit is all about exercise, sprinting, keeping the muscles working and if possible not pulling or tweaking anything. In professional rugby, fitness can be in the lap of the Gods, as anything from catching a boot on the turf to hitting a tackle at the wrong angle can cause problems.

Having access to medical and fitness experts helps the players stay involved throughout the season. As soon as there is an issue you are seen and sent to the right specialist to get treatment that will resolve the problem as quickly as possible. It means you are back to ‘work’, which is training and then playing. It is one thing that I have been thankful to H3 and 3fivetwo Group for, in that I continue to have fast access to medical services, even though I have retired.

On a lighter note, one of the big benefits of my rugby career was the opportunity to meet and get to know other sports people. I have been fortunate to play golf with Rory McIlroy, and am now fulfilling a dream by being in Augusta to watch him compete in the US Masters. I am spending a week at the event, and hoping that Rory is able to add a Green Jacket to his collection of trophies. He has taken his fitness to a new level, with specific training for golf, and to see him hit a drive is something else.

I hope my next blog will be able to report another success for Rory, and Ulster, but sport is full of the unexpected, to no guarantees. I hope you all enjoy the next couple of weeks watching world class sport from the Ulster sports stars.

Paddy Wallace

Paddy Wallace endorses H3 Health Insurance, Northern Ireland’s leading Private Health Insurance provider.

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