/ Six Nations 2014

Humble Hayes embarrassed by 'fuss'

Updated: Wednesday, 24 Feb 2010 14:25

John Hayes on media duty!
John Hayes on media duty!

Audio

Donncha O'Callaghan insists John Hayes will be desperate to avoid any fanfare when he joins the ranks of rugby's Test centurions.

Hayes will become the first player to win 100 caps for Ireland when he lines-up against England in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations showdown at Twickenham.

But long-time Munster and Ireland colleague O'Callaghan insists the publicity-shy 36-year-old would rather spend time on the farm in Cappamore in Limerick than talking about his impending milestone.

O'Callaghan said: ‘When (head coach) Declan Kidney announced John's selection he made bit of a fuss. It killed John, who just went red.

‘A fuss for John is people talking about it for two seconds. There was no presentation - he wouldn't put up with that.

‘The rest of us would be looking forward to a 100th cap but John would rather get off the pitch, get home and milk his cows.

‘Everyone else would enjoy this week but John can't wait until it's over.

‘It's an incredible achievement that can be taken for granted when there are guys like Ronan O'Gara and Brian O'Driscoll clipping his heels.

‘John is a real nice fella, as solid as a rock. He'd never lie.’

Hayes retains cult status among adoring Ireland fans who have dubbed him 'The Bull', but he remains something of an enigma thanks to his reluctance to step into the spotlight.

For a tighthead to make 100 Test appearances is an astonishing achievement but Hayes has his critics who blame him for Ireland's ills at the scrum - often viewed as the team's Achilles heal.

But the Munster front row has always retained a balanced outlook on his life and rugby.

Hayes said: ‘The criticism never hurt me. People are entitled to their opinion.

‘Scrummaging has been part of my game that I've always worked hard on.

‘I worked for a few years before I went professional. Since then I've always used a down day to do as much as I can at home.

‘I like to get out and get away from it all. I've always enjoyed that.’

Ireland have recalled Geordan Murphy against England to replace injured full-back Rob Kearney while the return of fly-half Jonathan Sexton sees O'Gara demoted to the bench.

Rory Best comes in for suspended hooker Jerry Flannery while O'Callaghan is restored to the second row after spending a month out with a knee injury.