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Friday 23 February 2018

Rugby stars tot up new fan at summer camps

Ten-month old Maria Phelan tries out the Heineken Cup,
held by Leinster’s Sean O’Brien and Leo Auva
Ten-month old Maria Phelan tries out the Heineken Cup, held by Leinster’s Sean O’Brien and Leo Auva

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

SHE's only 10 months old but little Maria Phelan already has her eye on the Leinster rugby stars.

The baby from Kilkenny city didn't get fazed when "Tullow tank" Sean O'Brien picked her up and popped her into the Heineken Cup.

The rugby legend from Co Carlow has plenty of experience with children from babysitting his nephew Patrick (3). He was Mr O'Brien's biggest fan during the Rugby World Cup -- and even knows all the words of 'Ireland's Call'.

Yesterday, little Maria fixed her gaze on New Zealander Leo Auva while Mr O'Brien held her in the trophy. The Irish international and the popular Kiwi were in Kilkenny rugby club yesterday where they were taking part in the Leinster summer camp programme.

Local rugby fans were delighted to meet their sporting heroes and there was also an opportunity for other children, including seven-year-olds Jack Aylmer, Max Coffey, Cameron McFarlane and Billy Whelan, to see the Heineken Cup.

More rugby camps will take place across the country this summer.

Irish Independent

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