Ireland’s Junior World Cup semi final hopes rest on the outcome of showdown on Thursday June 13, with New Zealand,
Ireland have been flying high in the French hosted tournament and it’s been a very proud week for a well-known West-Mayo sporting family with one of their own stars on the world stage. The Collins clan from Islandeady have long been associated with all that’s good in sport and that tradition was enhanced in the last few days at the IRB Junior Rugby World Cup in France where the Irish team took on Australia and Fiji.
Thomas Farrell (pictured) lined out in the famed number 13 jersey worn by Brian O’Driscoll at senior level and impressed everyone by his dynamic play.
Farrell’s mother Ann (nee Collins) hails from Islandeady, while his father, Thomas, is a native of Dromod in Leitrim, but that affinity with the West didn’t prevent young Farrell from scoring two tries against Connacht last September when the sides clashed on the eve of Mayo’s All-Ireland final with Donegal.
Thomas picked up a shoulder injury in that encounter but worked very hard to recover and put himself back in the selection mix at international level.
The DCU student plays his club rugby with Lansdowne and Leinster and was previously a schools star with Castleknock.
Thomas was also a highly talented gaelic footballer at underage level and in recent years captained the club’s successful Feile team, which was managed by legendary former Meath star Gerry McEntee.
The rugby star with the Mayo heritage is a regular visitor to Islandeady and follows in the footsteps of another man with strong West-Mayo links, Shane Geraghty, who has lined out at international level with England.
Ireland opened their campaign at the U20s World Cup with a brilliant 19-15 win against a fancied Australian side last Wednesday, and followed that up with a 46-3 victory over Fiji on Sunday.
Their final Group B game takes place this Thursday where they take on the mighty All Blacks who themselves have beaten Fiji 59-6 and fierce rivals Australia 14-10.
All Ireland’s games are taking place at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes.