herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

I won't shed a tear if Ireland beat us, says rugby pundit Stuart Barnes

Nicola Hughes got togged out with model pal Hayley Ryan.
Nicola Hughes got togged out with model pal Hayley Ryan.
Stuart Barnes

ENGLISH rugby TV pundit Stuart Barnes has said that he is "not a patriot" and won't be blindly supporting England in their clash against Ireland.

Mr Barnes (inset) also said he hoped that both sides, who face each other in an RBS Six Nations clash on Sunday at the Aviva, could make it to the semi-final of the World Cup later this year.

"I try and look at the game as a rugby fan first," he said.

"I'm not a patriot and I never have been. I'm up for a good game first and I won't be shedding any tears if Ireland wins

"I've been in this game for nearly 42 years now and when you're thinking primarily about rugby every day you lose the capacity to care which team is doing it.

"Rather it's about how the game is played intelligently and excitingly."

Mr Barnes, who is a sports commentator for Sky Sports, joined a long list of well-known names on the TV3 team who are covering all 48 matches in the World Cup later this year.

ANALYST

Former Ireland ace Keith Wood, rugby coaching guru Matt Williams, scrum half Peter Stringer, Leinster flanker Shane Jennings, former Ireland player Hugo MacNeill, and England World Cup-winning flanker Neil Back are all on board.

BBC commentator Conor McNamara from Limerick and rugby analyst Liam Toland will also join Matt Cooper and TV3's own Sinead Kissane on the broadcasting team.

"We had a nice night last night, a pint of Guinness and an excellent morning meeting with all of my new colleagues," Mr Barnes told the Herald.

"I haven't worked with Conor McNamara before, but I will be working with him closely and he's an excellent sports broadcaster.

"I'm looking forward to having great fun with Keith Wood," he added.

TV3 also confirmed that TV3HD will launch in August, and will be available on both Sky and UPC.

Meanwhile, with an English boyfriend and an English dad, you could forgive model Nicola Hughes for having divided loyalties this weekend, but she says she will be cheering for Ireland on Sunday.

"I've always been caught in the middle, but it's Ireland for me by a mile," said the Dubliner who is dating Made in Chelsea's Alex Mytton.

see sport 72

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