Tuesday 21 October 2014

Two worlds collide as Irish rugby stars mix with One Direction at Croke Park

Freya Drohan

Published 26/05/2014 | 08:38

They may have their own sect of dedicated fans, but Ireland’s top rugby players couldn’t resist some 1D mania over the weekend.

Ireland players Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip and Brian O’Driscoll all made an appearance in Croke Park, joining some 250,000 others over the three evenings.

And they enjoyed the perks of celebrity as they mingled with the singers from their private box.

Cian Healy surprised his model girlfriend Holly Carpenter with tickets, much to her delight. He tweeted on Saturday: “So told @Holly0910 I was taking her to one direction tonight. She's both laughing and crying with excitement now. @NiallOfficial it's gas."

Holly later posted a photo online of her and Harry Styles, captioned “Feeling Harry”.

Her boyfriend of two years gave the show his sign of approval, tweeting: "Had a great time at the one direction concert. Seriously good show!! Even got a shout out from @NiallOfficial #cheekyHarry"


Ireland’s number 8 Jamie also had a lady to impress- his niece. He shared several photos from backstage, thanking One Direction and their crew for helping him with his “uncle game”.

The band’s sole Irish member Niall Horan was in good company after the show. Cian uploaded a picture to Instagram of the Mullingar singer flanked by Cian, Jamie and former captain Brian.

"We need to teach @niallhoran how to squat!! @brianodriscoll @jamieheaslip #squats #ClosetDirectioners."


Niall (20) was extremely vocal about his excitement and pride to be playing to his home crowd, telling the audience it is was the best night of his life, thanks to the “unbelievable crowd”.

He told the ecstatic crowd: "I'm a boy from Mullingar playing in Croke Park, the national stadium. It's ridiculous. I wouldn't be here without you. You're the best fans in the world….This has been a perfect night."

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