THE country's leading rugby stars were left humbled after a meeting with one of their biggest – and youngest – fans.
Four-year-old Merryn Lacy was given the star treatment when she met Irish rugby star Jonny Sexton and co at a training session on Monday.
While she was all smiles as she chatted to Irish captain Paul O'Connell and hunk Rob Kearney, the Dubliner is battling a life threatening condition that could see her needing to travel to the US for treatment.
Merryn was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer of the nervous system last August and is undergoing frontline treatment in Crumlin children's hospital.
“She first got it in her kidneys which have now spread to her bone marrow and it was diagnosed as stage four cancer,” her dad Mick Lacy told the Herald.
Merryn has just finished her 12th round of chemotherapy and her family are hoping to send her to the States once she enters remission to ensure that there is very little chance for her to relapse.
But with the special blocker treatment, expected to cost more than €100,000 alone, they are looking for as much help as possible.
Her family has set up the Merryn Lacy Foundation and said that every penny will go towards her treatment and children's cancer research.
“With Merryn's condition there is a very high chance of relapse and the most dangerous time is within the first two years of remission,” explained dad Mick.
“One of the best places to receive this treatment is the States so we are already looking into this because obviously we want to do whatever we can,” he said.