Rugby

Mack Hansen has Keith Earls’s initials shaved in green hair ahead of milestone

Ireland wing Mack Hansen sported an eye-catching haircut in training on Friday (Brian Lawless/PA)
Ireland wing Mack Hansen sported an eye-catching haircut in training on Friday (Brian Lawless/PA) Ireland wing Mack Hansen sported an eye-catching haircut in training on Friday (Brian Lawless/PA)

Ireland wing Mack Hansen has marked the occasion of Keith Earls’s 100th Test cap by having his team-mate’s initials shaved into an eye-catching green haircut.

The Connacht player sported ‘KE’ on his left temple in training ahead of Saturday’s World Cup warm-up clash with England.

Earls is poised to become only the ninth Irishman to reach a century of international appearances, having been included among Andy Farrell’s replacements for the game.

Players and members of Ireland’s coaching staff have paid tribute to the popular 35-year-old all week.

Yet the eccentric Australia-born Hansen, who had long flowing locks during the Guinness Six Nations, has taken things a step further.

Earls led out Ireland’s players for Friday’s captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and is in contention to travel to the fourth World Cup of a distinguished international career which began in 2008.

Speaking of the Munster wing, team-mate Conor Murray, who reached 100 caps in the autumn, told the IRFU: “What a man!

“Going into school, looking up to him, he was a superstar of schools’ rugby and I’m blessed to be able to call him a really good friend and share part of his journey with him.

“Rooming with him for the last 10 odd years, I’ve seen the crazy sides to Keith Earls.

“This is a really popular landmark and everyone in the squad is absolutely delighted for him.”

Earls is set to move alongside Ireland greats Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara, Rory Best, Paul O’Connell and John Hayes in reaching three figures, in addition to current team-mates Cian Healy, Johnny Sexton and Murray.