Ireland v England. Something about it just gets the blood boiling. When you cast your mind back on the 'most English' of English rugby players, one face comes clearly to forefront of the mind. That of loud-mouthed, annoying, insufferable Austin Healey.
We were delighted to learn recently that Austin Healey turned the opportunity wear the green jersey. The reason why is quite amusing, and Healyesque.
We were rereading Healey's autobiography titled 'Me and My Mouth' in the wake of the retelling of the great 'BOD vs Healey' boxing match on the '01 Lions tour when we stumbled onto the following anecdote. Healey, as you can guess by his surname, has some Hibernian heritage. Ahead of the '01 Six Nations game vs Eire, Healey had the following thought: '
I have Irish blood and I'd been approached to play for Ireland some years before. I'd asked myself, 'Could I sit in an Irish changing room at Twickenham and say 'Let's smash these English bollocks'. The simple answer was no, I couldn't.'
You have to admire Healey for at least having the courage of his convictions. As much as we dislike hm, he have to admit he would have added an X-factor to the Irish backs during the early 2000s.
Screengrab from Kindle:
The book features many jibes at Irish players - such slagging Paul Wallace for turning up for Lions training smelling of drink and Eric Miller for not being intelligent. Amazingly, there is no reference to his boxing match with Brian O'Driscoll.