BARLA Lions Tour (Fiji 2018) - Blog Two

BARLA Lions Tour (Fiji 2018) - Blog Two

Hello everyone, Dave Parkinson reporting in, from the BARLA Tour. 

We've all arrived safely and have this morning completed our second training session in some spectacular surroundings.


I wanted to first write about our travel experiences.

A couple of players are to be congratulated for passing their own first big test - conquering fears of flying while another had never even stepped onto an airplane before!

We all met at the Holiday Inn Hotel near Manchester airport on Friday evening with members of the BARLA board joining the squad to present them with their tour kit and best wishes.

Following a restful night, everyone reconvened over breakfast and made their way to Manchester Airport to join the throng of people flying out of the country. With having several items of electronic equipment, my own pass through security proved a slightly lengthened experience but everyone passed through without incident and relaxed ahead of the first leg of our journey.

Head coach Gary Hewer took time out to discuss his thoughts (those wishing to view other content are advised to follow our twitter account @BARLATour and our Facebook Page - BARLA Fiji Tour 2018). If you have a facebook account, you should be able to view the video below:

We then flew for seven hours to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where a walk through the terminal saw items for sale at eye-watering prices!

There the squad encountered former X Factor star Fleur East! We think that we now have a new supporter! Pictured with Fleur are Marus O'Brien (Egremont), Andy Hullock and Jamie Fields (Hunslet Club Parkside), Jack Jones (Thatto Heath), Mark Tyson (Askam) and Tour Manager Jimmy Aspinall.

Next came a 14-hour flight from Abu Dhabi to Brisbane via Ethiad Airways. A long day finished with sleep on the plane and we landed in Queensland at around tea-time on Sunday.

Our coach stopped off at Suncorp Stadium where the squad explored the commemorative paving stones of every Queensland representative since State of Origin began in 1980, and we had a squad photo with Wally Lewis and also checked out the statues dedicated to Arthur Beetson, Mal Meninga, and Darren Lockyer.

After checking in at the hotel we had a look around the Brisbane Broncos Leagues Club and enjoyed a nice meal, respectfully observing a two minute Armistice Day silence.

The next morning was another early start and another breakfast before bombing over to Brisbane Airport for our flight to Nadi. After clearing security and making our way to the gate, I again caught up with head coach Gary Hewer and these were his thoughts.

We finally reached Nadi mid-afternoon yesterday (Monday) where we were serenaded upon arrival and after mobile phones and data were sorted at the airport arrived at our hotel base for the next 12 days.