But Munster heroes Simon Zebo, James Coughlan and Peter O’Mahony just about survived a monster scrum, and some probing questions from schoolchildren, during a very special school visit in Cork yesterday.
But they side-stepped questions from the press on the Lions selection, and on Joe Schmidt’s appointment as the new Ireland head coach.
“No comment on that today,” said flying winger Zebo, who wasn’t picked by Warren Gatland for the tour, despite being widely tipped.
The three rugby stars were swamped when they visited the 200-pupils of second and third class at St Anthony’s Boys NS in Ballinlough.
The visit was organised after two pupils won the Little Heroes competition run by Brown Thomas Cork in association with Munster Rugby.
Primary school children across Munster were invited to record a video message for the Munster team.
Next door neighbours in Rochestown, Johnny O’Hara, eight, who is in teacher Eddie Hogan O’Connell’s second class, and his pal, Danny Sheahan, nine, in teacher Liz Dwyer’s third class, recorded a fierce rugby haka which was chosen as the winner.
Danny is a nephew of former Munster great Frankie Sheahan.
The judges said their video reflected the Munster rugby ethos of pride, passion, enthusiasm, and team spirit.
The boys said there was no particular reason why they chose to record a haka.
“We picked the haka because we couldn’t really think of anything else,” Danny said after performing it for the Munster stars.
Inside the school hall, the players fielded some tough questions from Danny and Johnny’s classmates.
How many yellow cards have you got, how many tries have you scored, who is the best person on the Munster team, and what’s the best part of playing for Munster, were among the questions fired at them.
The players agreed on two things — Paul O’Connell and Ronan O’Gara are the squad’s best players, and the response from the crowd is the best part of playing for Munster.
And Zebo was left for dead after third-class student Alex Davenport challenged him to a sprint.
“It’s great to come out and see so many supporters and so much red,” said Zebo.
Coughlan said afterwards: “It’s a real privilege to be able to visit schools on days like this and to see the excitement.”
Brown Thomas Cork is the official formal-wear partner of the Munster rugby team, providing the players with clothes and shoes from its range of top designer brands, including Hugo Boss, Canali, Paul Smith, Duchamp, KG Kurt Geiger and Kenneth Cole