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05th Apr 2017

Stephen Ferris shares brilliant story about the Irish rugby team’s off-field antics on a tour of Argentina

Patrick McCarry

You can’t imagine antics like this would be tolerated with a touring Ireland side on Joe Schmidt’s watch.

Stephen Ferris was on The Hard Yards rugby podcast and [from 5:00 below] shared a brilliant story about Ireland’s two-Test tour to Argentina in the summer of 2007.

“They left all the big boys at home and us lads, the B team, rocked up over there,” he begins. Ireland lost both games and got the pans lumped off them in the process, but Ferris still remembers the tour fondly.

Having already shared a brilliant rugby initiation story about the Irish team, Ferris went on to explain

“I can remember Tony Buckley. That guy is a man mountain – like a 135 kilos – and guys trying to hold the big man up. He was completely all over the shop and punching holes in the wall. He fell off the bed and cut his eye open.

“It was absolute madness.”

Ferris added: “It’s always going to be madness when the post-match function is in a nightclub.

“You walk up, suited and booted, and you’re expecting to walk into a lovely hotel, have a nice steak, a glass of Argentinean Malbec [wine] and to be just chilling out; taking it easy.

“Next thing, we get off the bus and there’s promotional girls lined up each side of the entrance to the nightclub. We were like, ‘Alright boys, here we goooo’.

Ferris and his Ulster and Ireland teammate Neil Best must have been feeling the post-party guilt the following morning, as they packed up to head home.

That would possibly explain why the pair of them gave away their official IRFU gear to an elderly homeless man before they left Buenos Aires. He added:

“We walk out, two degrees in Buenos Aires and Bestie looks up, sprints across this six-lane motorway with his bag of kit. He gets to the middle and there’s this old man who looks like he’s been sleeping there for months; covered in sleeping bags.

“Bestie just lifts the cover up, ‘All right mate? Do you want some kit?”

That was just Best, a man Ferris happily he admits he could talk about all day.

That definitely sounds like a tour you wouldn’t forget in a while, even if you wanted to.