'They’re all supporting Ireland': SA-born star's family has switched allegiance
SPOTLIGHT: There will be a few South Africans supporting Ireland when they face the Springboks in their crunch Pool B clash at the Stade de France.
Ireland’s South African-born hooker Rob Herring said there will be no division amongst his family and friends during Saturday’s game.
The 33-year-old revealed that his mother and two of his three sisters travelled from Cape Town for the World Cup. He will also have a few friends at Saturday’s game cheering him on.
“They’re all supporting Ireland,” Herring told the PA news agency.
“All of my friends that are coming over and my family, they’re all in Irish jerseys so there will be no divided support. They will be fully behind us.
“It will be great. I’ve played against them [Springboks] a few times now and it’s always a good battle.
“I just want to be a part of the squad, contribute any way I can. It will be a good atmosphere; we’ll have our Irish fans there in full force.
“Every week we think we need to step things up and it’s going to be like that going into the long run of the competition. We’ll keep getting better and it will be another big challenge for us.”
Herring, who made his debut for Ireland back in 2014 after qualifying on ancestry grounds, is playing in his first World Cup and he is not wasting any moment.
“I keep saying to myself, I’ve got to enjoy these moments,” he said.
“I’ve missed out before and I’ve worked so hard to be here over the last four years so I’m going to put in big performances when I get the opportunity and other than that I’m ready to take it all in and enjoy it.
“This group of boys, we love playing for each other so it’s a great team to be a part of and hopefully we’re going to go into the deep end of the comp.”
Ireland started their World Cup campaign with an 82-8 win over Romania before they stormed past Tonga in a 59-16 win this past Saturday.
The good news for Andy Farrell’s side is that Herring’s rival hooker Dan Sheehan could be available for the clash against the Boks.
Sheehan has been out of action since suffering a foot injury in a warm-up match against England. However, the Ireland camp is confident he can prove his fitness ahead of Saturday’s clash.
“Dan has trained with us the last couple of days, he’s looking good,” said assistant coach Mike Catt.
“He’ll do everything with us. He’ll be able to do all the walk-throughs. But we’re confident that he is going to be available for selection come Saturday.”
Sources: PA & Irish Independent