Eleven-year-old rugby player and fan Alex Place, who hails from Templepatrick, Co. Antrim, has been selected by the Irish Rugby Football Union to hand in Ireland’s submission for Rugby World Cup 2023 to World Rugby this Thursday.
Ulster Rugby season ticket holder Alex Place was selected following an online competition to become the IRFU’s 2023 ‘Bid Kid’. His stand-out entry (shown below) summed up Alex’s love of the sport in just seven words – Life is simple, eat, sleep, play rugby.
Alex, who attends Templepatrick Primary, has played with Academy Rugby Club since he was four, and will be joining his team directly after his starring role submitting Ireland’s RWC 2023 bid when Academy travel to Florence to play against Italian club teams this Friday.
Ulster and Ireland winger Andrew Trimble dropped in to Alex to give him the good news, and he met with Alex’s mum and dad, Leanne and Colin, and his younger sister Zoe. The family will join Alex as he travels to Dublin on Thursday.
Alex’s mum Leanne said: “When we spotted that the IRFU were looking for a kid to hand over Ireland’s bid for Rugby World Cup 2023, we just thought, ‘Alex would be perfect for that’, so we took a picture with all the jerseys and balls he has collected over the years and told the IRFU about Alex’s mantra – Life is simple, eat, sleep, play rugby.
“I am delighted Alex was selected, as he is obsessed with rugby and I know that this will be a very special day for him. We are really proud that Alex gets to do something so important for the game he loves.”
Speaking of his selection, Alex admitted: “I was so shocked to see Andrew at my home and for a moment I didn’t really know what was happening. When he told me that I had been selected as the bid kid I was so happy.
“I just love rugby and hopefully I get selected for Ireland again and again, as I really want to play for Ulster and Ireland when I grow up. I can’t wait to go to Dublin to hand over Ireland’s bid for the Rugby World Cup, I am just so happy.”