Ireland’s World Cup campaign may not have gone the way they wanted, but winger Mack Hansen has said he made some “memories I’m going to have for the rest of my life” during an “unbelievable experience” in France.
Hansen and his teammates arrived at the World Cup as world number ones and many people’s favourites for the tournament, particularly after beating eventual champions South Africa in the pool stages. While they fell short of their target, losing to the All Blacks in the quarter-finals, Andy Farrell’s side left an indelible mark on the tournament not only with their performances but with the atmosphere that was created.
Speaking to Connacht’s social media team recently, the 25-year-old reflected on the campaign and the support Ireland received, describing it as an “unbelievable experience”. He did also look back on the epic quarter-final loss to eventual finalists the All Blacks, saying it was “fair play to them”.
“Look, it was a disappointing end,” the Australian-born winger said. “We lost to a good All Blacks team so it was fair play to them, but it’s memories I’m going to have for the rest of my life. The support and everybody coming over, it was just incredible. It was unbelievable.
“It was unreal. It was it was such an experience. It’s almost weird coming back from being with people 24/7 to coming back home to almost an empty house, it was strange enough. But look, there’s worse things that can happen. But I made some lifelong memories and a lot of those guys are some of my best mates now, as well. It was just an absolutely unbelievable experience.
While Hansen has been at Connacht’s games since returning from the World Cup, he is yet to feature this season. In his absence though, his clubmates have made an unbeaten start to the United Rugby Championship season, the only team to do so, and are therefore top of the standings ahead of facing Edinburgh this Saturday.
Hansen was also full of praise for his teammates, particularly the style of rugby they are playing. “They’ve been unreal,” he said. “They’ve been so good. It’s class to see all the new guys have slotted in perfectly. We’re playing a good, exciting brand of footy which we always do, scoring a lot of points and keeping people on the edge of their seats, or the edge of the standing. It’s great to see, we’re exactly where we want to be after three rounds, three wins, you can’t ask for a better start, can you?”