Ireland head coach Andy Farrell could not hide his admiration for young singing sensation Stevie Mulrooney after he delivered a rousing rendition of Ireland’s Call ahead of Sunday’s Six Nations clash against Italy in Dublin.
Mulrooney, 8, broke the internet after he delivered a stirring version of the song on the pitch in front of a capacity crowd of close to 52,000 spectators at the Aviva Stadium.
Invited to sing by Josh van der Flier
The youngster initially hit the headlines when he sang the rugby anthem on RTE’s Late Late Toy Show. That led to Ireland openside flanker Josh van der Flier inviting the schoolboy to perform the song at the Six Nations champions’ first home match of the year.
Mulrooney’s brilliant performance came after Jennifer Dalton performed the Italian anthem and Ireland’s Amhran na bhFiann. He sang superbly and his passionate performance impressed Farrell and thousands of television viewers.
“Oh wow. I tell you, I was actually saying before the game, I was just watching him the whole time,” said Farrell, whose side won 36-0.
“I didn’t know whether he was standing with his mother or not but when I realised the other lady (Dalton) was not his mother and was singing the national anthem for the Italians… his confidence was amazing and I actually thought ‘I wish our lads are going to be like that’.
“He’s got his shoulders back, he was ready.
“He was waving to the crowd, stood there on his own. I thought: ‘this kid’s got it all’.
“He was amazing. He nailed it, didn’t he? It was a great start.”
A rampant Ireland would go on to make light work of Italy in their second game of this year’s Six Nations as they cruised to a dominant six-try victory at the Aviva Stadium.
After their excellent performance against France in Marseille in Round One, the Irish were looking to make it two wins from two and completed another maximum haul.
Filling Johnny Sexton's void brilliantly, Jack Crowley. 👏
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) February 11, 2024
Tries from Jack Crowley, Dan Sheehan (2), Jack Conan, James Lowe and Calvin Nash saw Farrell’s charges go into the Six Nations fallow week with 10 points on the table.
Ireland are back in action on Saturday, February 24 with a home game against Scotland and it will be interesting to see if young Mulrooney returns for an encore for his fans.