Secret Diary of Guy Mercer, aged 21 and 7/12ths - Part 2

2 August 2011

As the squad travelled back from Portugal, we took advantage of Guy having a quick nap to take another peak into his tour diary...

Dear Diary....Wednesday began with an early start, cramming what little food we thought we could contain in as we left the hotel behind for the beach in Villa Moura. The Super 8 challenge took a day off and we were instead split into teams to compete in a 'Triathlon' challenge. This began by hoisting each member of your team into the air to perform a shuttle, and progressed into a series of sand running and swimming. Due to a farcical points scoring system my team, consisting of Bendy, Hoops, Will Spencer, Catty and myself, were robbed of the win despite begin the first entire team to finish. Special mentions to Will Skuse who moved like a merman through the water to take the individual title and Paul Roberts who embodied the spirit of the Hoff in chasing Will down in the final metres of the race only to come up agonisingly short.

From here on in the boys were allowed to go their separate ways to enjoy the day off as they pleased. One gang, led by the Saffas, headed to Max Evans' family golf course to enjoy a round, whilst others took the trip to Val de Lobo to lie by the pool at the Breeze Beach Club.

Well rested the squad cracked on with another two days training. Some gruelling gym work and field sessions in the heat were made bearable by the delightful cupcakes provided by Browns and some late night table tennis. The Super 8 challenges continued with new boys Ryan Caldwell and Carl Fearns streaking ahead in the forwards table while Classy and Matt Carraro edged in front for the backs.

Whilst the new guys were concentrating on their athletic performance, some of the team's rougher characters engaged in a little tomfoolery - the twilight water fight between Messer's Lilley, Catt and Moss left poor Dave Flatman so on edge that on hearing Mark move in the night hours after the exchange he sprung from his bed to arm himself. It took a thorough massaging of Dave's feet and earlobes from roommate Max Anderson to calm him back to sleep again.

Belly made a quiz. It was quite fun.

Our final training session was particularly long as we tried to get everything in place so we can enjoy the week off ahead. Under Bruce's watchful eye we polished things off and soaked up the last few rays of sun before travelling to Villa Moura for a pleasant team meal by the harbour side. The meal and a few drinks together at Puro beach bought a fitting end to a hard months training.

The week has been hard, but will hopefully prove invaluable with the new additions to the squad well settled and everyone a little more familiar with one another. With a week off ahead we will return soon to prepare for our pre-season games with Melbourne Rebels, Cardiff and Bristol.

Trip special mentions go to Tom Biggs for Best in Speedos, Ryan Caldwell for Most Sunburnt, Dave Atwood for Most Time Endured with Brent (Taylor - Club physiotherapist), Simon Taylor - Egghead, Kane Palma-Newport for Most Aggressive, Duncan Bell for Least Active, Sam Vesty and Danny Hipkiss for Most in Love and the Super 8 winners, Ryan Caldwell and Matt Carraro.

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