Watch: How Ryan Tubridy's brother prevented a New Zealand try against Ireland in 1989

With New Zealand in town, many are looking back at previous clashes they have had with Ireland.

But the game from 1989 at Lansdowne Road has shed light on a ball boy who became an unexpected star of the show.

And the ball boy isn't just anyone, it turned out he was Garrett Tubridy, brother of broadcaster Ryan.

Ryan and Garrett Tubridy at the launch of Ryan's book 'Patrick and the President'. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Ryan and Garrett Tubridy at the launch of Ryan's book "Patrick and the President". Picture: Brian McEvoy

When Ireland and the All Blacks met in '89, the younger Tubridy alerted the referee that a New Zealand try should not have counted - doing so in spectacular fashion.

Grant Fox ran in a try for the All Blacks, but the touch judge on the far side of the pitch had his flag up to signal an infringement.

The referee could not see, or hear, so Garrett (then 13) took it upon himself to alert the referee. After a brief consultation, Fox's try was disallowed.


Speaking after the game, Garrett said he had asked the touch judge why he didn't go onto the pitch and tell the referee what was wrong.

"The touch judge said 'no, I can't do that'.

"Well one of the people in the crowd said to me, go on yourself, go over to him and tell him."

And so he did.

Garrett's brother Ryan addressed the moment on his radio show on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning.

"Now, why do I have such an interest in that story? And why would I be so proud of that ball boy? And why would I want to share that story with you?" asked Ryan.

"Because that ball boy is my brother, Garrett. And Garrett Tubridy was really into rugby as a kid."

Ryan added, "I just think it's a really cute story and it's gone wild online. And Garrett's now a man. A very good man.

"And he ended up running the Women's Rugby World Cup last year, and doing very well as it turns out. So it was always meant to be.

"And then, the commentator from the clip, has just in the last few hours tweeted the picture - a picture of the letter he received - from my brother Garrett, to him, to say thanks for the video cassette that Keith Quinn (the commentator) sent to him.

"Keith kept the letter and now it's up there for all to see. Just a cute little story."

Garrett has responded to Mr Quinn's tweet thanking him for sharing it and saying: "My spelling has improved since."

The game is famous for another reason.

As New Zealand performed the Haka before the game, they were met by an Ireland team marching toward them, led by Willie Andeson.

Sadly none of this was enough to prevent defeat, as New Zealand ran out 23-6 winners.

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