Peter Stringer has a hilarious story about being mistaken for a mascot at underage level
Peter Stringer was never going to have the Herculean stature of your typical international rugby star but what he lacked in size, he more than made up for in character.
The legendary scrum-half, who signed a one-year deal with Sale in May, was renowned for being the smallest player on the park as early as under-8 level and he has one particular story that sums up how people have always judged him on his size.
The story, told in his book Pulling the Strings and serialised in today's Irish Times, reveals that he was actually mistaken for a mascot when playing school's rugby.
'No one ever said to my face, “You’re too small”. But in later years Mum told me some of the stories. She recalled one specific under-13 game when Pres travelled to Dublin to play Blackrock College.
'As I was captain of the team, I led them out, followed by one of the secondrows.
'Some of the Blackrock mothers were on the sidelines. “Ah look, they brought a mascot out on the pitch.”
'“No, no,” Mum said to them, “he’s actually the captain of the team.” That shut them up, but Mum constantly had other parents approaching her on the side of the pitch while I was playing, with comments like: “He’s too small” or “He’s going to get hurt” or “How can you stand by and watch him out there?”'
At 5 ft 7 in and 72 kgs, which he has maintained throughout his senior career, Stringer is never going to instil fear in opponents with a commanding physique but that never stopped him from stopping the big lads dead in their tracks.