Rugby

‘They can’t sledge for themselves—‘

In-form Ireland wing Mack Hansen is hoping to “go to war” against his native Australia and has no worries about taking sticks on the pitch as the Wallabies team “can’t sledge for s—“.

The Canberra-born Hansen is set to face his home soil for the first time during Saturday night’s highly anticipated clash in Dublin.

The former Australia under-20 international, whose mother Diana hails from County Cork, says switching international allegiances is the best decision of his life.

He was nominated this week for World Rugby’s player of the year award and is relishing the prospect of a rare chance against a number of familiar faces.

“Since I made my decision, I haven’t thought about backing down at all,” said Hansen, who has scored three tries in eight internationals. “I am very happy where I am.

“I suppose you could think what would have been with anything, so no, the decision to play for Ireland has been the best decision of my career and of my life. I love being here and enjoying it.”

“It’s still good to hear from your teammates and people back home, but not once have I felt upset or thought ‘what if?'”

When asked about the prospect of taking in-game taunts this weekend, he quipped, “Ah, they can’t sleigh for s—! Whitey (Nic White) will be jolly as always, but the rest of them aren’t very ingenious. or clever!

“That’s what the whole game is about. It’s about going to war on the field and then just being able to have a laugh and being able to enjoy a quiet beer or two.”

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be really cool. I haven’t played any of these before and a lot of them are good friends of mine. It’s going to be a great experience.”

Hansen joined Connacht from the Brumbies ahead of the 2021-22 season and was quickly brought into the All-Ireland setup by head coach Andy Farrell thanks to a string of excellent performances at provincial level.

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