Friday 30 September 2016

REVEALED: The rival Six Nations player Irish fans would like to claim for Ireland

Published 04/03/2016 | 11:38

While more than one in 10 Ireland fans admit they would like to claim Mike Brown for Ireland, but he lags behind a trio of Welsh players on the Irish supporters wishlist.

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The England full-back was criticised i9n many quarters for an incident in the 21-10 defeat of Ireland at Twickenham where his boot made contact with Conor Murray’s head on a number of occasions while attempting to kick the ball.

The Harlequins man escaped any sanction and in a poll conducted by Ulster Bank among Irish rugby fans, 12pc admitted that he is the player from the home nations that they would like to claim for Joe Schmidt’s side.

He still falls short of three Welsh players, with Leigh Halfpenny topping the poll with 33pc of the vote, followed by lock Alun Wyn Jones (26pc) and winger George North (23pc).

Halfpenny is currently injured, but the deadly accurate placekicker and reliable full-back is one of the most highly regarded players in the northern hemisphere.

In a wide ranging survey, the Scottish came out on top when respondents were asked who were the best fans to interact with (44pc) while the Welsh came a close second (38pc).

Rory McIlroy also featured in the survey but claimed last place when fans were asked what Irish person from another sporting discipline would make a good addition to the Irish rugby team. Rory received just 2% of the votes while Dublin GAA star Bernard Brogan beat off both Conor McGregor and Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea with a third of the votes. If McGregor was to ever take up the sport respondents thought he would make a great scrum-half (43pc).

Moving from MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) to WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was voted as the international celebrity who would make the best rugby player (32%) while English actor Jason Statham also made the list with a fifth of the votes. Asked if an Irish actor was to play Johnny Sexton’s life story, a quarter of respondents thought Cillian Murphy fitted the bill with Colin Farrell a close second.

In one of the more light-hearted moments of 2015, Luke Fitzgerald’s ‘fresh-air’ golf shot in front of the world’s number one golfer, Rory McIlroy, during the Rugby World Cup was voted as our favourite social media moment of the year. With almost half a million views on YouTube the Irish back had over 40% of the votes while the priceless image of Paul O’Connell enjoying a rollercoaster ride at Alton Towers made second place. 

Moving from MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) to WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was voted as the international celebrity who would make the best rugby player (32pc) while English actor Jason Statham also made the list with a fifth of the votes. Asked if an Irish actor was to play Johnny Sexton’s life story, a quarter of respondents thought Cillian Murphy fitted the bill with Colin Farrell a close second.

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