Belfast Telegraph

Belfast rugby streaker shows off Down Under

By Amanda Poole

A Belfast property analyst revealed his cheeky side during the Rugby World Cup match between Tonga and Canada in New Zealand yesterday.

Connor Irwin (24), from the Stranmillis area of Belfast, took to the pitch wearing only a green foam fist on his right hand and a thong covering his nether regions.

The scantily-clad Ulsterman ran the entire length of the field at the Northland Events Centre in Whangarei before he ‘scored’ a try of sorts before being caught.

Connor’s dentist father David Irwin was blissfully unaware of his son’s streaking antics until the Belfast Telegraph got in touch.

“I’m not entirely surprised,” Mr Irwin said. “He took his Northern Ireland flag with him, which did make me suspicious. I hope he doesn’t end up in jail and he’s not banned from future matches.”

It’s understood Connor is currently assisting New Zealand police with their inquiries.

“I’m sure the authorities in New Zealand are keen to nip this in the bud,” Mr Irwin added. “His mother will not be impressed.”

Under the Major Events Management Act, the maximum penalty for unauthorised entry on to a pitch is a three-month jail sentence or a fine of up to $5,000.

The first streaker of the World Cup, during the England-Argentina match, was charged on Saturday.

The 23-year-old man was granted a police diversion and it’s understood he made a $500 charity donation.

Connor, a former RBAI pupil and ex-employee of commercial real estate organisation Colliers, is currently travelling with a friend and hopes to go to Australia next.

Factfile

Streaking is not a new phenomenon. On the evening of July 5, 1799 a man was arrested at the Mansion House, London, after he accepted a wager of 10 guineas to run naked from Cornhill to Cheapside. Erica Roe, known as the Twickenham Streaker, is best remembered for her topless run across the pitch of Twickenham Stadium during an England v Australia rugby union match on January 2, 1982. Mark Roberts from Liverpool first streaked during the Hong Kong Sevens in 1993 and since then has streaked hundreds of times all over the world.

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