For casual fans, the name Simon Cox was one of the odder names on the Ireland team for the Northern Ireland match. With so much hype around the Irish conversion of the likes of O'Hara and Pennant, the Tilehurst man slipped clear under the radar for many people. During the boredom of the build-up to Ireland-Scotland, enterprising journalist Tommy Martin of TV3 extracted Cox's own personal history with Ireland, which he revealed over Twitter. Apparently, this is Cox's fourth time in Ireland. Here are the occasions that brought him 'home':
1. His father's cousin's wedding when he was six-years-old
2. A friend's stag party, 2010
3. Ireland v Macedonia in March, 2011
4. This week for the Carling Nations Cup
It was also disclosed that Cox researched Amhrán na bhFiann via youtube before coming over. With the issue of what makes an Irish player again on the agenda this week, Cox's personal relationship with Ireland emblematic of the strangeness of the granny rule. Still, you'd have to assume that his two visits to Ireland before this year are two more than many English-born Ireland players. We're happy to have him.