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Following the Blues a generation game for fanatical family

THREE generations of one family are gearing up for tomorrow evening's Heineken Cup showdown between Leinster and the Leicester Tigers.

The Byrne family have all played for St Mary's, they'll all be cheering on Leinster at the Aviva, and they've also converted their Ulster supporter mum into becoming a Blues fan.

Norman, from Churchtown, has been playing rugby since the age of five in school at St Mary's Boys School, Rathmines.

Just as Norman was encouraged by his father Billy (68), he has also fostered the interest in rugby in his own son Luke (10).

"Myself and Luke are season ticket holders and my dad goes regularly to the games," he said. "My grandfather on my mother's side was a sports journalist and my own dad has carried on a bit of rugby reporting too. There are three generations of us that are Leinster supporters -- my dad, myself and Luke."

Norman, who coaches the U-11s at De La Salle Palmerstown RFC and the Junior 3 adult side, said that his father was an ardent supporter of the local teams as well as the provincial and national sides.

"My parents went to 99pc of all the matches I played in -- which is a lot when you consider I've been playing since I was five," he said.

"Luke plays on the U11 side in De La Salle Palmerstown."

And Norman said his other half, Monica, had put up with father and son's fanatical interest and learned to love the sport.

"She's a real rugby wife, she was never involved in rugby until she met me," he said.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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