Mason blazed trail for ‘annoying’ pal Healey

Simon Mason: Will be returning to Belfast in the new year for a reunion to mark the 20th anniversary of the first Irish team to conquer Europe. Photo: Sportsfile.

As kids at St Anselm’s College, the Christian Brothers school on Merseyside, they launched the most lethal of half-back alliances in the U12s.

Let loose a few years later on an unsuspecting world, they embarked on different routes to common goals, like winning the European Cup and international caps.

Out-half Simon Mason blazed the trail for his ‘annoying’ sidekick, four goals on a winning debut for Ireland against Wales in 1996 followed by six penalties in winning the Heineken Cup for Ulster three years later.

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