BALLYHOOLY'S MIKE ROSS MAKES HIS MARK FOR IRELAND
Mike Ross of Ballyhooly will make his first championship start in Rome this Saturday as Ireland take on Italy in their Six Nations rugby opener. Patty Ross, Mike’s mum, was over the moon ahead of his big game: “We are overwhelmed with excitement, it’s fantastic. Mike’s wife is expecting their first baby in the next few weeks so we will be watching the game at home with her and shouting him on,” she told The Avondhu.
The Ross family, who live in Convamore, Ballyhooly have a strong sporting background with Mike’s father, Frank, also having played rugby. Mike himself started playing in Fermoy before moving to UCC where he studies biotechnology.
He played for a team that won the European Students Cup in 1999 appearing alongside Peter Stringer and Jerry Flannery. He was also on the Cork Con team that beat St Marys in the 2006 Irish Cup final.
Mike’s brothers, Alistair and Matthew, also played with Cork Con and they are the only three brothers to play senior for the club. A robust scrummager, Mike made his name during a three-year spell in England with Harlequins.
He joined Quins in 2006 and made 62 domestic appearances for the London club before signing a deal with Leinster, with whom he has been most impressive this season, in the hope of boosting his international chances.
Having won caps for Ireland at A level, he made his test debut against Canada in Vancouver in June 2009. Mike performed the official opening of the Ballyhooly Community Centre in 2009 and the whole community there will undoubtedly be supporting him on Saturday as he togs out for Ireland.
Thursday 3rd February 5:18pm