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With the boys attempting to rest on the 13 hour flight from Hong Kong, there was also time for them to prepare and attempt to learn the layout of Rome in the hope of giving themselves a better chance of sucess. With the 747 touching down smoothly at just over 6am Rome time, the team looked fresh given their past 48 hours and the emotional drain of losing two teammates in Hong Kong.

You could see the excitement on their faces as they disembarked and headed towards passport control, before a look of horror crossed Dwyer's face as he looked at his team mate and said, "Oh crap!! We forgot to learn Italian." With a few made up words like "beep ed ee bo" and adding the letter "o" to anything else they said, the boys bumbled their way through. But it was not over, with the more experienced Dwyer heading through the 'nothing to declare' gate at customs, before realising he had lost Thomas. Dwyer slipped back through the gate and found Thomas declaring to customs officials the moves like 'Teddy Tiggy' and 'The Train Game', that he hoped to unleash. Dwyer quickly escorted Thomas through customs and was overheard berating him as to the international pressure now placed on the team by informing Italian authorities what he planned on doing to their nationals. It is believed that before leaving the airport, Thomas' photograph was taken so it could be broadcast nightly as a warning.

The boys made their way to the team hotel, to discover that they were unable to check in until after 1.30pm, allowing them around 5 hours to try and get a grasp of Rome. They headed straight for the Colosseum, second only to the MCG in stature for sports mad fans. It made the team think strongly of home after learning that their beloved Tigers had just pulled off a magnificent victory against the Eagles.


The boys walked the length of the city in the soaring heat, with near misses occurring often in the form of traffic hazards. It appears that team officials have acknowledged that training in the southern hemisphere has now likely hampered the team, with both members now thrown into disarray as left becomes right; cold becomes hot; and east becomes black. The team will have to aclimatise quickly and Dwyer took it into his own hands by sneaking Thomas out of the team hotel and taking him to the Spanish Steps in the evening. The Spanish Steps are a renowned training ground for the under 18 Italian mens team, as they pit their skills on unsuspecting female tourists. The two watched on and became students to the game that they thought they owned back home as these pre-pubecent latharios, with moustaches thicker than you grandmothers, worked their moves.

It is also believed that the touring squads major sponsor, Dunlop Volley, is at loggerheads with team officials after it was learnt the both members are carrying niggling injuries after their marathon walk around the ancient cobblestoned city. It has been suggested that the minor sorness experienced by the squad is through lack of fitness and too much alcohol consumption. Team officals have denied this and have put the blame on the thin wafer shoe that Dwyer has been sponsored by since he was a child, saying that it is not designed to use on the european layout. Dunlop Volley executives are believed to be working on the problem.

Posted by Jippo 02:50 Archived in Italy Tagged backpacking

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