Irish lock takes bracing dip

Irish rugby player Donncha O'Callaghan takes a mid-winter swim in Lake Wakatipu.
Irish rugby player Donncha O'Callaghan takes a mid-winter swim in Lake Wakatipu.

Chilly weather has put the Irish rugby team's plans in Queenstown on ice but that did not stop big lock Donncha O'Callaghan from going for an icy plunge this morning.

While the tourists had to delay plans to go for a jet boat ride this morning because of the near freezing temperatures, O'Callaghan took the opportunity to go for an impromptu dip in Lake Wakatipu.

Wandering down to the shore from the team's nearby hotel, O'Callaghan – who has played more than 90 tests, including four for the British and Irish Lions – quickly disrobed and leapt into the water, much to the delight of members of the Irish team management who were watching on.

Irish rugby player Donncha O'Callaghan is dripping wet and chilly after a swim in Lake Wakatipu.
Irish rugby player Donncha O'Callaghan is dripping wet and chilly after a swim in Lake Wakatipu.

O'Callaghan, 33, has a reputation as a joker with both his Munster club team and Ireland.

He once tried to take part in a lineout in a game against the Cardiff Blues while wearing no shorts.

The referee eventually insisted he put his shorts back on before allowing the game to continue.

Queenstown meteorologist David Crow said this morning's temperatures had gone from 2degC to about 5degC by the time O'Callaghan went for his dip.

Lake Wakatipu has a consistent temperature year round of between 9degC and 10degC.

''Of course anyone jumping into Lake Wakatipu this morning would have feel a lot colder as soon as they got out,'' Crow said.

''There wasn't much of a breeze so the windchill factor wouldn't have been much, although on exiting he would have felt like it was about -10degC for a wee minute there.''

The Irish have a day off today before resuming training in Queenstown tomorrow.

They will name their team for the third test on Thursday before flying out to Hamilton in that afternoon.

The Southland Times