Ronan Michael surprised his mascot by how loud he belted out Ireland’s Call on his World Cup debut! It was a moment he had dreamt of all his life.
The Balbriggan-born prop made his international debut for his beloved Ireland in 2018, and made his first appearance at a World Cup in their final group game against New Zealand.
The Wolfhounds went down to a 48-10 defeat to the Kiwis, but representing his country in a World Cup meant everything to him.
Michael sung the national anthem so loud it even made his mascot turn around with a smile!
“It’s the most special feeling in the world,” Michael said. “It means the world to you.
“Singing your country’s national anthem is something you dream about as a kid so why would you sing it quietly? It’s a special feeling.
“You might only get a few times in your life to pull on the green jersey so you need to sing it with all your heart.
“Hearing the crowd behind you and being shoulder to shoulder with your best mates is unbelievable. We’re a family. We’re not just a group of players that have come together from different clubs, we’re literally a family.
“Getting to put on the green jersey, sing with your best mates and go to war – there’s no better feeling.”
☘️ What does making your World Cup debut with Ireland mean? Just ask Balbriggan's @ronanjmichael
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) October 29, 2022
Ronan Michael: I’ve had the time of my life
In 2020, Michael became the first Irish-born player to play in Super League since Brian Carney in 2009 as he made his Huddersfield debut.
Michael, now playing with Championship club York, says being part of Ireland’s World Cup has been the best time of his life.
“It has probably been the best three or four weeks of my life,” he added. “I’ve been dying for this.
“I was dying for it last year and then it got postponed and it was absolutely savage this year. We’ve got a great group and to finally go out there making my World Cup debut and pulling on the green jersey, it is what I’ve non-stop thought about since we qualified.
“We’re the fighting Irish and we want to show the world that we’re a small island, but there’s a lot of talent from where we’re from and we have a lot of passion for what we do.”