The Connacht winger made the breakthrough against South Africa at the Rugby World Cup
Ireland wing Mack Hansen has set the world on fire since swapping Australia for the Emerald Isle and was the man to break the Springboks’ resilient defence with a try in the Rugby World Cup pool stage.
We sat down with the eccentric wide man to find out a little bit more about what makes him tick, from haircuts to parties to Andy Farrell tattoos and more.
Read more: Ireland Rugby World Cup squad
Inside the mind of Mack Hansen
ON ANDY FARRELL
“I think Andy Farrell is the best coach I’ve worked under. I’ve been lucky enough to have some very good coaches in my time. What he’s done for everybody and myself personally has been pretty amazing. He’s a guy you want to run through walls for; I don’t think they could’ve picked a better guy.”
ON HIS FARRELL TATTOO
Read more: Mack Hansen reveals Andy Farrell tattoo
“I showed Andy Farrell the tattoo of him that I got done (after a bet with Jim Hamilton). He loves it and can’t stop talking everyone about – you can tell everyone that! I don’t think he’s happy with how he’s depicted as he’s changing his appearance by growing his hair and beard out and he looks like a different man.”
ON PRE-SEASON COMING INTO THE WORLD CUP
“It has actually been my first pre-season in two years and I sort of missed it. It’s a bit of a grind and there’s a massive difference to in season. We’ve been doing some different stuff in a heat chamber on bikes and controlling heart rates and then we’ve also done some breath work to get us more mindful for what will be a stressful time.”
ON THE GYM
“The gym is so much longer in the pre-season. There’s little tiny exercises you’ve got to do that always take forever. It’s tough enough, to be honest. I’m not much of a gym junkie myself but I always try and bring the energy and be positive about everything.”
ON HIS PARENTS
“My parents were always massive in my career. We never went on holidays because it was going towards my footy and travelling to competitions is what they’d spend their money on. Footy always came first. Looking back now I really appreciate it. Dad wouldn’t let me go to some parties if I had stuff on the next day and at the time I was thinking he’s such a douchebag but to get here now, I understand why he did it.”
ON NIGHTS OUT
“I’ve had some good nights out. I surround myself with some fun people. Some of the Grand Slam nights were great fun, the second one I don’t really remember but the other two were great. I had a pretty good send off before I came over to Ireland and my 21st as well was great craic. Double denim and turtle necks was the theme.”
ON LIVING IN IRELAND
“The best thing about living in Ireland is that everyone here genuinely loves footy which makes me enjoy my rugby a lot more. Socially, you can walk into any pub here and it has got live music and the Guinness is good. Everyone is just having great craic. It’s a massive thing over here being able to go out and enjoy yourself.”
Related: Mack Hansen’s new Canterbury boots
FUNNIEST THING HE’S HEARD ON THE PITCH
“The funniest thing I heard on the pitch was in a Brumbies Runners game against Melbourne. There was a bad smell and my mate Lachlan Lonergan, a front-rower, said to his opposite number, ‘Did you just fart?’ And everyone was calling him ‘fart boy’ for the rest of the game. That was quite funny.”
FAVOURITE/MOST ENTERTAINING TEAM-MATE?
“It’s hard to pick a favourite team-mate I’ve played with but funniest or most entertaining I’d chuck Dave Kilcoyne in there. He is very entertaining. He’s a lunatic, to be honest but he’s always bringing the craic and entertaining people.”
“The New Zealand tour was unreal and great. Especially when we started winning! After the first two games I think everyone had given up on us, it was a bit doom and gloom. I got to see some family over there too. The night we won the series was definitely the best bit off the field.”
“The favourite try I’ve ever scored was probably the one against the Bulls (he caught the ball 12m inside his own half and raced in to score a stunner) as it kicked off my career here. I hadn’t really scored a try like that since I was 11 or 12, so that is probably my favourite one to date.”
WHICH SUPERPOWER WOULD HE CHOOSE?
“If I could have a superpower it would either be flying as feel that would be good fun or it would be able to know every answer to every conspiracy theory. If I was to be one team-mate for a day it would be Hugo Keenan because he’s absolutely loaded with his new contract and is always flashing money around.”
This article originally appeared in the October 2023 edition of Rugby World magazine.