herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Is there a secret 'Gleek' on the Irish rugby team? Blame Amy...

IS THERE a secret Gleek on the Irish rugby team?

Behind the steely stares and macho attitude, it appears there is a softer side to some of the Ireland team.

The players have been kicking back in New Zealand with bungee jumps, rafting and downhill kart racing. And they have now buckled down to a strict training regime in Auckland before their vital match against Australia on Saturday.

However, every player needs down time -- Cian Healy has a penchant for mixing tunes as his alter ego DJ Church, and Ronan O'Gara was caught out singing karaoke in the car.

But who would have guessed that one of the macho players would follow the characters of Rachel, Finn, Kurt and Brittney in Glee?

Brian O'Driscoll's wife Amy Huberman gave her husband's team-mate Rob Kearney a leaving present ahead of their World Cup odyssey. The actress arranged for a gift of the US music show to be given to the Ireland full-back and asked about his present online.

"Are you at your Glee box-set again?" she said.

Leinster player Kearney admitted that the DVDs were a quirky gift from the actress.

"Amy wasn't joking.... It was my going away present from her!" he said.

Kearney was parked on the bench by coach Declan Kidney for last weekend's match against the USA, but has been named in the starting 15 to face Australia.

And the Louth man said that he is chomping at the bit and believes the team have something to prove to the fans.

"We know exactly what to expect from them (Australia)," he said. "If we're not on top of our game and if we don't fulfil our potential, we're going to come out second best."

The Leinster player asked Irish fans to continue the strong support, despite the weak performance against the US.

"Just be patient with us," he said. "We are really close to getting a good result and things are starting to click for us.

"We're aware that this weekend our fans deserve a big performance.

"The mood after the game -- there was some mixed reactions," he added about the US game.

"Obviously everyone was delighted with the win -- first and foremost that was the most important."

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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