It is not unusual to see international teams making use of the state of the art facilities at London Irish’s home and training ground, the Hazelwood Centre in Sunbury. The All Blacks, Wales, Fiji, Argentina, Samoa and England Sevens are only a few of the teams to train on the Hazelwood pitches since it’s opening in 2014.
Most recently, London Irish rubbed shoulders with the USA Women’s International Rugby Squad, also known as Women’s Eagles, who were based at Hazelwood from Monday 5 to Friday 13 November ahead of their fixtures against England Women at Allianz Park on 9 November and Ireland Women in Dublin on 18 November.
With carefully tailored schedules to avoid any clash with London Irish’s training, the Women’s Eagles made Hazelwood their base for the week, enjoying use of the pitches, gym, team room and dining room with resident chef Bogdan Konecki ensuring their nutrition was on point.
The Eagles went on to conclude their Autumn Internationals with a 19-10 victory over Ireland at Energia Park.
Prior to USA Women’s visit, London Irish played host to Super Bowl Champions Philadelphia Eagles ahead of their NFL fixture at Wembley Stadium against Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday 28 October. Over the last few years the New York Giants, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota Vikings have also set up camp at Hazelwood for training and media sessions, a testament to the exceptional facilities and service found at the Sunbury based centre.
“It’s great that international teams choose to train at Hazelwood as it reaffirms the standard of the facilities” said Fiona McHugh, general manager of the Hazelwood Centre.
“We are proud to host a huge amount of sport here, from all ages of the thriving London Irish Amateurs, the professional London Irish team and guest teams that make us their temporary home. We look forward to welcoming more sports teams at the top of their game in coming years.”