herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Leo takes time out with Cup ahead of his real big day

Groom-to-be Leo Cullen has returned home with the perfect trophy on his arm...well almost perfect.

This weekend Leo marries his beautiful bride Dairine Kennedy, but until then he must content himself with that other beauty -- the Heineken Cup.

The Leinster captain is back on home ground for a warm-up with friends and family ahead of his nuptials this weekend.

Leo returned to his native village of Ashford, Co Wicklow with the biggest prize in European rugby tucked firmly under his arm.

And his relatives and neighbours were thrilled to catch up with the 6'6" friendly giant, at his local pub, The Yew Tree at the Chester Beatty Inn in Ashford.

The player and his business manager bride-to-be have been dating for more than three years and are set to wed in Kilrush beside Ferns in Wexford on Saturday.

"It's a big day on Saturday," Leo explained. "I'm a little nervous but I'm just looking forward to it now.

"This is good practice," he laughed.

Brian O'Driscoll and his wife Amy Huberman are among the high-profile names said to be on the guest list, although the notoriously private Leinster captain was remaining tight-lipped about the details last night.

The Wicklow man admits, however, that he is looking forward to the couple's 10-day honeymoon in a location he is keen to keep under wraps, but insists it will be business as usual once they return home.

"We have something planned alright, we're looking forward to going away now," he said.

"We're into the holiday mode at the moment.

"A few of the lads had some bad breaks and sprains during the year so you know they'll be recovering during this time and then we'll get back out on the ground."

And while last night was all about celebrating Leo and his Leinster teammates phenomenal win in Wales two weeks ago, Leo told the Herald how last Saturday's disappointing defeat by Munster has put a swift end to the celebrations.

"Definitely last weekend brought us back down to earth," he said. "We enjoyed our couple of days after the game but to be honest it was disappointing after the Munster game. It was pretty tough down there."

lnolan@herald.ie

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