Wednesday 13 November 2019

Rugby star John Hayes honoured by British MPs

Barry Duggan

BEST known for his tears of passion during 'Amhran na bhFiann', rugby legend John Hayes has been honoured at the Houses of Parliament in London.

The retired star forward was selected to receive a prestigious all-party parliamentary rugby award.

Mr Hayes was the only Irishman among six British and Irish Lions who were honoured.

His wife, Fiona, accompanied him to the event.

He said: "Myself and Brian O'Driscoll were invited, but Drico couldn't go because he is still involved (with the Irish team).

"It was a lunch and a dinner and we got a full tour of Westminster, so it was very impressive."

Mr Hayes admitted that he would dearly like to be playing against the 'auld enemy' on Sunday but is enjoying time away from rugby at his home in Cappamore, Co Limerick.

"You'd love to play in games like that but you know your time has passed," Mr Hayes said.

He was the first Irish player to reach 100 caps and was thrilled with last weekend's victory over Wales.

"Absolutely, it's amazing what a big win can do. Everyone is looking forward to England. Dublin comes to life."

Mr Hayes took part in the Lions tours to New Zealand (2005) and South Africa (2009).

FULL SIX NATIONS COVERAGE: SPORT PAGES 60-63

Irish Independent

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