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Rugby stars line out for Bull's book

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John Hayes at his book launch with Peter Stringer, Jerry Flannery, Donncha O'Callaghan, Ronan O'Gara, Paul O'Connell and Mick Galwey.

John Hayes at his book launch with Peter Stringer, Jerry Flannery, Donncha O'Callaghan, Ronan O'Gara, Paul O'Connell and Mick Galwey.

John Hayes at his book launch with Peter Stringer, Jerry Flannery, Donncha O'Callaghan, Ronan O'Gara, Paul O'Connell and Mick Galwey.

NEVER mind the title -- there is absolutely no bull in this book.

Irish rugby legend John Hayes (38) last night launched his book -- 'The Bull: My Story' -- which details his sporting life.

Hayes retired from the rugby field last December and many of his former team-mates including Paul O'Connell, Keith Earls, Mick Galway and Marcus Horan along with Irish team manager Declan Kidney, joined his family and friends in Clohessy's bar in Limerick for the occasion.

Co-written by Tommy Conlon, Hayes recalls his lengthy sporting career from playing underage hurling and football with Cappamore GAA club to lining out against the world's top rugby players.

He said he never believed he would become a professional rugby player when he started playing with Bruff and Shannon rugby clubs.

"It really did change where I was going. Where I would be today without it, I don't know," he added.

Hayes said completing a book was suggested to him at the end of his career.

"He (Tommy Conlon) really got it across how I felt at the time. I wanted it to be an account of the stories as they were at the time they occurred," Hayes said.

He said playing professional rugby was "a lot easier as a young fella" but praised his wife, Fiona and children, Sally, Roisin and Bill for all their support to him in recent years.

Hayes played 105 times for Ireland, over 200 for Munster, won two Heineken Cups, four Triple Crowns and a Grand Slam.

Irish Independent