Keen fly fisherman and French international rugby star Raphaël Ibañez spent a couple of evenings fishing the Kells Blackwater over the past week. Currently visiting Ireland in a couching capacity, Raphaël took some time out to pursue his other passion fly fishing. Club chairman Dan Conaty acted as the ‘host with the most’ and did the club proud as always.
Raphaël made his debut against Wales in 1996 and went on to win 72 caps for his country, including 27 as captain. He won successive Grand Slams with France in 1997 and 1998 and led them to the World Cup Final in 1999.
In the 2007 Six Nations Ibañez became the first player to score a try in the 82,300 capacity Croke Park after the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) modified their Rule 42 in 2005 which banned foreign sports from being played in Croke Park.
Dan on behalf of the club extended an invitation to Raphaël to return to the Kells Blackwater at any time, and to bring any of his rugby colleagues to visit the river and the town of Kells.