The Family Way

When I played Askeans never toured in Ireland – which I always thought was a great shame.

I did see many Ireland v England international at Lansdowne Road though – and the welcome was always very warm. Rugby traditions are strong in Ireland and I always found the fans knew their stuff.

There seemed to be far less inherent animosity towards the English than in other places – I don’t know if this dates back to when England were the only side that travelled to Dublin during the troubles, but it may be that is the case.

For those too young to know England got a pasting in 1973 by 18-9 – but that is not what is most remembered about that day –

At the after match dinner England captain John Pullin rose wearily to his feet in a smoked-filled room in the old Hibernian Hotel in Dublin, dodged a couple of incoming breadrolls, and uttered possibly the most memorable 13 words in rugby history: “Well we might not be any good but at least we turned up.”

Rugby fans have long memories – especially in Ireland it seems.

I was reminded of that story when I read these articles

Father and son, Andy and Owen Farrell received a standing ovation when they entered the pub full of Munster fans.

His father, of course, acted as a coaching consultant for Munster last season and is currently the defence coach for the Irish national side.

The pair will play a pivotal role when the Lions look to secure a historic Test series victory over the All Blacks in a few months.

But most of all, Munster fans respect quality when they see it.

The Irish know all about the ‘rugby family’ and what Otis and Aretha told us


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