Picture the scene; Six Nations 2030, a packed stadium of 50,000 cheering fans, a large green pocket of Irish travelling fans surrounded by maroon shirts. Hold on, Maroon? It’s not that the Welsh shirts had a France shirt mixed up in the wash, it’s Georgia.
As journeys go, it’d be hard to find a more remarkable one across the length and breadth of Irish sport. From Eritrea to France, onwards to Ireland and finally, two years later, standing proud on a European podium in Portugal.
This week Portugal hosts a round of the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) as the action moves to the coastal venue of Estoril. Irish riders Bertram Allen, Michael Duffy, Denis Lynch, Darragh Kenny, and Mark McAuley will all be in the hunt for individual purses as well as appearances for their respective Global Champions League (GCL) teams.
For the generations born in Ireland since the end of the Second World War it is understandably difficult for some of them to envisage the state of public opinion on the issue of Irish neutrality during WWII.
It’s very early days but the possibility of Ireland staging games at the World Cup Finals has moved at least one step closer to becoming reality, with confirmation that the FAI is joining forces with the associations of the four ‘home nations’ to consider making a joint bid for the 2030 tournament.