Ireland’s replacement out-half Ian Madigan has been nicknamed ’Gazza’ after the tears flowed following Ireland’s win over France, team-mate Rob Kearney has revealed.
"The boys are calling him Gazza now," said Kearney, after Madigan showed his emotions following a fine performance after he replaced the injured Johnny Sexton.
At least Mads saved the waterworks until after the final whistle and there was no need for a Gary Lineker figure to make worried gestures about his well-being.
"It was a day where he really stood up," continued Kearney of the ten who was catapulted into the spotlight by Sexton’s exit.
"We needed him to come on and take control of things and really did. He was brilliant."
Kearney lauded the input of all the replacements called on to fill the boots of the prematurely departed during the bruising encounter, but admitted that the soaring casualty rate in the Ireland camp had taken some of the gloss off their standout defeat of their Six Nations rivals at the Millennium Stadium.
"It probably does," said the full-back. "You never like to lose players and then there is the calibre of some of them, your captain as well. It does take a gloss off it, but the physicality of a tournament like this is so big.
"You don’t have a huge amount of time to sit around and think about it, we have another huge match next weekend and we can’t sit around and think too much about it. We’ve got to get on with it, as cruel as that may sound."