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Monday 1 September 2014

Hair today, gone tomorrow - Gordon D'Arcy bets his beard on Grand Slam win

Published 10/02/2014 | 18:16

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7 February 2014; Ireland's Gordon D'Arcy during the captain's run ahead of their RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship match against Wales on Saturday. Ireland Rugby Squad Captain's Run, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Gordon D'Arcy
8 February 2014; Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt during the second half. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Wales, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
The Ireland coach spoke out following a late night exchange of words between Phillips, Ireland’s Johnny Sexton and boyband member Niall Horan over Saturday’s Six Nations clash.

There’s a lot at stake in Ireland’s bid to win the Grand Slam, namely Gordon D’Arcy’s beard.

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The Irish rugby player has promised team-mate Johnny Sexton that he will shave off his statement facial hair if the boys in green win the Grand Slam.

“It’s a horrible looking thing,” Sexton told TodayFM.

“I’m sick of looking at it. I asked D’Arcy before the New Zealand game would he shave his beard if we won and he said he would.

“I think that was one of the biggest disappointments about not winning the game,” he joked.

But there is still a Grand Slam on the line and Sexton is using it to his betting advantage.

“We want to win the Grand Slam for the people of Ireland, not just to give them something to celebrate but to get rid of Gordon D’Arcy’s beard too.

Meanwhile, Welsh rugby scrum half Mike Phillips is a good friend of the Irish rugby team despite his online spat with One Direction star Niall Horan, Joe Schmidt claims.

The Ireland coach spoke out following a late night exchange of words between Phillips, Ireland’s Rob Kearney and boyband member Niall Horan over Saturday’s Six Nations clash.

“People express their opinions a little bit more globally now,” he told the Tubridy Show.

“Once upon a time it was in a crowded bar and now those opinions are very much broadcast worldwide and I think things can blow up and taken a little bit out of context sometimes.

“To be fair I know Mike Philips is good friends with Paul O’Connell and he gets on well with Johnny Sexton. They obviously play their club footie together in Racing Metro in Paris.”

Schmidt said players from both countries were on good terms after the match, despite tensions on the pitch.

“I thought one of the really good things was how the players interacted after the game at the dinner,” Schmidt said.

“There were guys swapping seats to go and sit by different players. It is one of the amateur things that rugby maintains since becoming professional that people do still share pretty positive relationships after games.”

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Popstar Niall Horan tweeted about Wales scrum-half Phillips during the game

The coach – who was speaking on the show about European Epilepsy Day - also said he believed the online row was resolved amicably.

He said: “Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I would have to say I’m naive if not completely ignorant about social media.

“The things that do happen on there are part of life’s greater mysteries.

“I think it all finished amicably enough between the two of them.”

The row began when sports-mad One Direction star Niall Horan wrote to his 17 million followers saying that Phillips was a “right arrogant idiot”. The Lions player then invited the 20-year-old to training to meet him face-to-face.

Rob Kearney, who was involved on the on-pitch row, included himself in the exchange telling the Westmeath popstar, “Don’t worry I have your back”.

The coach also spoke on air about raising awareness of epilepsy.  His ten-year-old son Luke was diagnosed with the condition at the age of four, and has undergone numerous brain surgeries since then.

He said: “We've a son who has had epilepsy since he had a brain tumour removed six years ago. He’s suffers daily seizures and they manifest themselves in different ways.

“It can be as simple as him zoning out for a while or it can see him drop to the ground very quickly or go into a seizure where he thrashes about.

“I think it is really important there is plenty of support for people who do have contend with regular seizures because it is that little bit distressing and uncomfortable to see.

“We've had fantastic support from friends and also from Luke’s school who have does a great job in looking after him and are fairly unfazed if he does have a seizure and they can look after him without any trouble.”

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