Mike Ross Recalls Brilliant Story Where An Irish Teammate Punched Him In A Scrum
Leinster and Ireland prop Mike Ross announced his retirement yesterday after a hugely successful career for both club and country.
The 37 year-old Cork native has played on 61 occasions for Ireland since his debut in 2009 on the summer tour to Canada, while he has made a total of 151 appearances for Leinster since his debut in September 2009 against the Scarlets.
Ross signed for Leinster in time for the 2009/10 season from Harlequins and has to date won two Heineken Cups, a Challenge Cup and two PRO12 titles with Leinster. During this time he also won two 6 Nations titles with Ireland and represented Ireland at the 2011 and the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The front-row appeared on Newstalk’s Off the Ball last night to reflect on his career and recalled a brilliant story which saw him get punched in the face by one of his own teammates.
I was with Ireland ‘A’ in Chicago, I think it was in 2009. We were playing Argentina, and in every scrum, this Argie second-row was hammering me in the face. I’d always see this big fist coming up, whacking me in the eye, and disappearing again. I’m bound up, I can’t get to him, so I’m going mad. I say to Trevor Hogan, ‘Trev, next scrum, will you whack that bugger for me?’. ‘Sure thing, Skin’, in that Tipperary accent of his that I won’t even try to do.
So at the next scrum, we’re down, and of course the Argie is whacking me in the face. So next thing, I see this big, brown fist come up through my legs… and punch me square in the nose.
Friendly fire. Obviously, I’m roaring, ‘What the hell Trevor!?’, and he’s saying ‘Sorry, sorry, I couldn’t reach’. So he tried God bless him, but the execution left a lot to be desired. I tried to get at him near the end, in a maul, and he absolutely filled me in, he had a superior reach. Our team doc, Eanna Falvey, still has a picture on his phone of my eye looking like Rocky Balboa.