“It does add a bit of fire to the game.”
After his latest heroics, in Edinburgh, the Connacht winger has delivered the goods again. Hansen was asked to look ahead to what will be a huge game against England, at Aviva Stadium, this weekend. He gave his honest take on the Ireland-England rivalry.
It was nothing too outrageous, and is in line with Hansen not being what you might call being too media-trained, but it certainly grabbed Monday and Tuesday headlines.Mack Hansen arrives for an Ireland captain’s run at Aviva Stadium, in 2022. (Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)
‘Everyone hates England, in general’ – Mack Hansen
At Murrayfield, on Sunday, Mack Hansen put in an exceptional performance on the right wing – and across most blades of grass – as Ireland beat Scotland 22-7.
The former Brumbies star, who qualifies to play for Ireland through his Cork-born mother, scored a great try, set up Jack Conan for another and showed his defensive knack with two crucial breakdown turnovers.
Following the game, Hansen spoke with members of the written press and was asked to help set the scene for Ireland’s Grand Slam decider against England. The winger commented:
“I think everybody hates England in general! It’s something I was aware of [living in Australia], for sure.
“There’s a fair bit of hatred, isn’t there? It’s good, though, because once the game is done they are good lads like everyone else. That s*** happened… how long ago now? But it does add a bit of fire to the game. I was unlucky that I didn’t get to play last year, so fingers crossed I get to play next Saturday.”
As someone from an Australian upbringing with a big Irish influence, it is not wholly surprising to hear Hansen’s remark about that extra bite when facing England. In the context of the Six Nations, too, fans from France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will tell you that England is the main scalp they want taken.
The only big surprise is Hansen still telling it as he sees it after being in Ireland for close on two years. Many of the home-based players will keep their cards much closer to their chests, but Hansen and James Lowe are a lot more easy-breezy.
The comments will definitely add spice to Saturday’s fixture and a few England players will mark the Mack Hansen card for a tête-à-tête over the 80 minutes.
Hansen is big and hair enough, though, to realise that he must deal with the worms after springing the whole can. Let it be, and let them rip.
WATCH RUGBY JOE’S SIX NATIONS CORNER:
- New faces included in Ireland’s final Six Nations squad for England game
- Peter O’Mahony ref-mic comment sums up Ireland feelings towards controversial early try decision
- “Men against boys!”- England stars torn into after French rout
- Ireland vs. Scotland: All the talking points, biggest moments and player ratings
- Three changes to Ireland XV that should start Grand Slam decider with England