It was the Lions tour in 2005 down in New Zealand, it was a disastrous tour managed by Rugby World Cup winner Clive Woodward. Woodward won the Rugby World Cup with England in 2003 with a famous drop goal from legendary English out half Johnny Wilkinson.
Prince William is a keen rugby fan and heard all about Munster Rugby and was keen to meet the Munster Rugby lads. In an extract from John ‘The Bull’ Hayes autobiography he recalls how Paul O’Connell muttered a cheeky joke under his breath;
“At one stage of the tour Prince William turned up to meet him (Woodward) at training one day. William is a big rugby fan and he came into our dressing room after one of the games and went round shaking our hands. I was sitting next to O’Connell. William told him he’d heard of Munster rugby and the legendary Thomond Park.
So Paulie said to him he should come over for a game some time. William said he’d love to but it wouldn’t be easy; a visit like that to Ireland would take a bit or organising. And quick as a flash O’Connell fires back, ‘Some of your ancestors hadn’t much problem coming over to Ireland.’ He kinda half said it under his breath so I wasn’t sure if Prince William had heard it or not. But I had and I nearly fell off my seat laughing.”
The ‘Bull Hayes’ was a Munster & Irish legend representing Ireland and Munster over 100 times and was the anchor of the scrum and Ireland own a lot of their success to the Bruff rugby club man. Paul O’Connell was right there behind him in the scrum for many a year and the two still remain close to this day. Paul O’Connell is currently the Ireland forwards coach and John Hayes is enjoying life back on his farm.
When Prince Harry did that the handshake scene from Key and Peele 😭🤣
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) March 11, 2021