John Hayes has decided enough is enough, and you could understand that. He’s had enough of the hard hits, the unrelenting training and the pain. Who could blame him? Who could blame this war-horse who has given so much to Munster?
The answer is Nobody.
Yesterday morning, I wandered out to Bruff RFC for John Hayes’s final training session as a Munster player and I found it thronged with supporters, young and old. Isn’t that wonderful?
Isn’t it wonderful that a rural community should create a rugby club in the heart of GAA territory and bring it to the top level of Irish club rugby?
Wandering around this event, I caught up with the president of Bruff RFC.
Isn’t it great, I asked him, to see so many top-level Munster players here?
And why wouldn’t they be? he replied.
I was chastened.
Why do you think all these people turned out today?, he demanded.
To support John Hayes? I ventured.
That, and because Bruff RFC is part of what we are. Do you think these international players are here by accident?
And of course I don’t.