"It’s something that meant a huge amount to Callum and to his family."
As we are sure many of the current Ireland squad would attest to, making your Test debut can be a memorable yet overwhelming affair. Johnny Sexton made his Ireland debut back in 2009, and his gesture after a recent win over Wales shows the bond that often exists between rugby players.
During the latest House of Rugby Ireland episode, Ulster and Ireland star Ian Madigan shared a wonderful tale about Sexton giving up his match jersey. Callum Sheedy's father, Philip, is from Kildare and though he played underage rugby for Ireland, he committed to playing Test rugby for Wales.
Following Ireland's 32-9 win over Wales, during which Sheedy made his debut, Sexton went into the 'Away' dressing room and approached the young outhalf. Madigan says:
"Johnny went in and found him, and said, ‘Look, I hear you’ve an Irish dad and you know Mads from your time in Bristol. Look, congrats on your first cap and I’d love you to have my jersey and hold onto your own one. Do with them as you please’."
When you consider Sexton came off injured after only 27 minutes of that game, to have the presence of mind to make the day extra special for Sheedy, his opponent, is really saying something about the Ireland captain.
? LISTEN to the full story (from 43:00 below) and hear how a French rugby legend made Ian Madigan's day after his Ireland debut.
There was a lot more besides on the latest House of Rugby Ireland episode, including:
- Big team selections calls ahead of the Georgia game
- The young Irish forward playing himself into Lions contention
- Leinster & Ireland centre Sene Naoupu joins for a great interview
- A round-up of all the latest rugby news and results
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