James Ryan has hit back at the Ireland's Call critics and said 'people should learn their history'

James Ryan has hit back at the Ireland's Call critics and said 'people should learn their history'

IRELAND'S STAND IN CAPTAIN FOR THE ITALY GAME James Ryan has said that people should learn their history before criticising Ireland's second national anthem 'Ireland's Call'.  

A few weeks ago, former Ireland players Brian O’Driscoll, and David Irwin met the Ireland players at a training camp to hold a viewing of an upcoming BT documentary called Shoulder to Shoulder. 

Irwin, who was injured in an IRA bomb blast in 1987 spoke to the players about his experience playing for the Ireland rugby team despite being from the north of Ireland. 

The documentary goes into the Irish sporting and political history of the Irish national rugby team some 50 years on from The Troubles.

It also highlights the importance of Ireland’s Call, Phil Coulters 1995 song, which has been slammed by critics on more than one occasion. 

Many people do not recognise the anthem as Ireland's official one and believe that 'Amhrán na bhFiann' should be the only anthem sang at rugby games home and away.  

However due to the political and historical aspects, Ireland's call is the only anthem sung away from home at rugby games. 

Ryan, who will captain Ireland in Johnny Sexton's absence for the Italy game was taking questions from the media on Thursday. The Ireland lock was asked specifically about the anthem and his for take on it. 

Ryan, whose great-grandfather fought in the Easter Rising, said, " It was just about the history of the jersey and the Irish rugby team a little bit about Ireland’s Call. 

“People seem to give out about it a bit. 

“But they probably don’t understand the bigger picture of it, the uniqueness of it and the uniqueness of the Irish rugby team. 

“It’s the only song that recognises the fact that the Irish rugby team makes up the whole island, north and south. 

“Then it’s just understanding how sport binds people together and how over the last almost 150 years the Irish rugby team is one of the only things that has persisted, in unity and in solidarity on this island. 

“So, it’s understanding the strength of it and the sacrifices that people made to wear the green jersey and the privilege to wear it.” 

Ireland's game against Italy starts at 14.15pm on Saturday 

That game is live on RTE TWO.

Team news for the game should be announced later today.