Argentina’s Marcos Ayerza reveals Irish roots

Argentina’s Marcos Ayerza reveals Irish roots

ARGENTINA front-rower Marcos Ayerza has revealed he has Irish roots ahead of his country’s quarter-final showdown with Joe Schmidt’s troops.

Ahead of Sunday’s game at the Millennium Stadium, the Leicester player has spoken of his love for horse racing, a family tradition of his that dates back several generations.

“My great-great grandfather was David O'Connor, who came from Ireland,” said the 32-year-old.

“There's a big tradition of Irish people in Argentina. Horses are part of that too, and plenty of horses from Coolmore come over to Argentina for the season over there.

"Our links with Ireland are always very strong. We have similar ways of thinking and doing things.

"Playing against Ireland has great pride for my family. My grandmother, she passed away, but she was proud of me playing against Ireland – her grandfather was Irish and she loved the country.”