Russell Crowe has made an outrageous claim that the unofficial Irish anthem The Fields of Athenry is actually Australian.
The Gladiator actor is in Ireland on tour with his band Indoor Garden Party and made the comment during an interview with Ian Dempsey on Today FM.
Crowe recalled the first time he heard the song, on a cold, misty day at Lansdowne Road.
The Irish rugby team were leading the world champions New Zealand and the whole stadium roared out the song to sing our boys home. Unfortunately, Ireland couldn’t hold off the might of the world’s best team and went on to lose the game.
However, Crowe explained that the moment touched him, but it was not until a few years later that he stopped to think about the lyrics.
He told Dempsey: “Sure she’ll wait and hope and pray, for her love in Botany Bay. It’s a direct connection with Australia.
“That’s why that song took on a greater meaning for me and I love taking the piss out of Irish people and saying it’s Australian. I say it to them and they argue it and go crazy and then I point out the lyrics.”
Too right we do Russell, you are not taking The Fields of Athenry from us!
To be fair to the hardman, he was speaking a bit tongue in cheek and seems to just enjoy the mischief of winding us up over it.
The song is a regular feature on the playlist of his band at their gigs.
Here they are warming up the crowd with a quick rendition.
For those of you waiting on Indoor Garden Party live show news … Keep September 28,29,30 and October 1st free pic.twitter.com/R2MTHep8ea
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 15, 2017
And if you want to be reminded of that stirring support the Irish fans give from the stands, here you go. This clip is of the Irish team playing against New Zealand again in 2013, with the crowd roaring them on.