ONE person who has always been by Robert Baloucoune’s side is his mother, Shirley. With the 23 year-old now on the cusp of getting his first Ireland cap, Shirley Baloucoune has the bags packed, the hotel booked and the tickets sorted, for Ireland’s upcoming game against Japan at the Aviva Stadium, on Saturday afternoon.
“My Mum used to bring me to a lot of sporting events, when I was younger. She brought me to a lot of clubs and I think that is why I am interested in sport so much. I used to play football until I was 15 and I also played Gaelic for Coa for a season. I mixed it all around!
“She is optimistic. She has already booked a hotel. If I get picked, I’ll get her a few tickets to get her down the road!” he quips.
For Baloucoune, the chance of playing senior rugby for Ireland is a dream come true.
“It is amazing. Coaches used to tell me that I should be pushing for Ireland but I never really believed it until recently. The work that I put in and the training makes it all worth it. If I did get a start it would be great, but I am just looking forward to getting my first cap now.”
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