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29th Mar 2023

Johnny Sexton was never going to let Mack Hansen forget his Grand Slam tattoo idea

Patrick McCarry

Mack Hansen

“Oh, I’ve got a Mister Whippy coming past me now.”

Not long back and into the training swing at Connacht, Mack Hansen took time out of his afternoon – when he was not getting distracted by ice cream vans – to talk with us about his Grand Slam win with Ireland.

The winger is one of three Ireland stars nominated for Six Nations Player of the Championship, with the likes of Ronan O’Gara, Jim Hamilton and the House of Rugby panel all singing his praises.

Typically modest, Hansen feels either Hugo Keenan or Caelan Doris deserve it more than himself.  “I was lucky enough to have like two pretty solid games,” he says, “but they played out of their skin in all five games.”

Hansen had the time of his life ripping great craic, and singing plenty of songs, after Ireland clinched the Grand Slam. He is also booked in for another tattoo after Ireland’s glut of silverware, all thanks to Johnny Sexton and his elephantine memory.

Mack HansenJohnny Sexton, Jamison Gibson Park and Mack Hansen pictured at Murrayfield Stadium. (Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile)

Mack Hansen on Grand Slam tattoo

Not long after he joined Connacht, Mack Hansen backed up some training ground chat when he got the face of teammate Oisín Dowling tattooed on his leg.

Asked if he is booked in to go under the tattoo artist’s needle any time soon, Hansen told us:

“I’m gonna get ‘Grand Slam, baby’ somewhere. Just the one, I think, that’d be great to have, I don’t know where I’m gonna put it yet, but yeah, Grand Slam, baby.

“Yeah, it was like a bit of a started off as a bit of a joke – like passing comment that if we won a Grand Slam, I’d get [Andy Farrell] Faz’ face put on me somewhere. I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, right’ or whatever.

“And then, like nine weeks later, Johnny Sexton brought it up and remembered. So he put it to me and I guess, as a man of my word, I’ll have to get that as well.

“So it’ll be coming in the next, next couple of weeks when I get a bit of time… I mean, like if you, you can’t go saying stuff like that when you’ve already done it because they know you’re going to get it done. So now you have to get it done.

“I should have known. He’s got the mind of an elephant, Johnny. They’ve got good, good memories, don’t they? Elephants never forget.”

Hansen says his summer project will be to try cut his casual cursing down, after his Man of the Match slip of the tongue following the win over Italy.

“I think the only people that curse more than Irish people are Australians,” he said. “To be honest with you, I think they’re the only two nations that just curse and don’t even realise you’re cursing.”


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