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Professor's pep talk is history in the making for Ireland

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Diarmuid Ferriter

Diarmuid Ferriter

Diarmuid Ferriter

History professor Diarmuid Ferriter has given the Irish rugby team a pep talk ahead of the Six Nations.

Team coach Joe Schmidt brought in the UCD academic to address the squad and remind them of their importance to the mood of the nation.

The Irish Independent understands that he spoke about the country's huge emigrant population during a session in Carton House two weeks ago.

Declan Kidney is understood to have occasionally boosted morale by bringing in outsiders to give motivational talks to the team – but the idea of bringing in a historian is a new departure.

Scrum-half Conor Murray described using Ferriter for pre-tournament inspiration as something different.

"We'd a guest speaker (Ferriter) in a few weeks ago, just to give us a different aspect on rugby and a little lesson in Irish history," he said.

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