Thursday 29 September 2016

John Hayes Irish prop forward 'We wanted to do the country proud'

Published 25/01/2014 | 02:30

Brian O’Driscoll (left) and John Hayes
Brian O’Driscoll (left) and John Hayes

"Like a lot of the team, I grew up in a very strong GAA area – Cappamore, Limerick – so you would be conscious of everything with playing in Croke Park. We all wanted to play there – Ireland against England in the GAA's national stadium.

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"It was just incredible that day. We felt a responsibility and wanted to do the country proud.

"I do remember the anthems. There was the respect to the English anthem and then our turn. You could hear our crowd giving it their all – it came down the stand into your ears.

"We put a brilliant score up and said at half-time to keep going, don't stop, keep hitting them. It was one of those days.

"That night, Sally – my ten-month-old daughter – had an earache so I got the team doctor to have a look at her and spent the night with her in the bedroom."

Irish Independent

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