Belfast Telegraph

Here scrums the bride as Ferris gets ready to tie knot

By Rachel Martin

Rugby star turned pundit Stephen Ferris will marry his girlfriend next Saturday.

The 31-year-old from Maghaberry will wed long-time sweetheart Laura McNally (28) at a luxurious estate in Co Cavan.

It comes nearly two years after he popped the question to the Portrush girl on a romantic trip to Barcelona with a ring he had made just for her.

Ferris met his wife-to-be through his Ulster team-mate Chris Cochrane.

Chris' girlfriend Zoe Starrett is from Portrush, helped introduce the pair, and will be one of Laura's bridesmaids.

The couple are getting married in the Lavendar Gardens in Virginia Park Lodge, a grand 18th century 150-acre country pile.

Stephen's big brother David will be best man.

The groomsmen include Stephen 'Willy' Williamson, one of Stephen's oldest friends, and Laura's younger brother Gary McNally, who will walk his sister down the aisle.

Laura's father Owen McNally was a professional motorbike racer. He died in 1999 after crashing in the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod.

Ferris is widely regarded as having been an outstanding player for Ulster, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions.

The former Friends' Grammar School pupil was an inspirational figure when his province reached the European Cup final in 2012, and won 35 Irish caps, playing a crucial role in the 2009 Grand Slam success.

Ferris retired from rugby in June 2014 after a long-standing ankle injury forced an end to his career.

Speaking previously, he said: "All the people that I care about and have a lot of respect for will be there to share the day with us and it's going to be brilliant.

"We are very excited.

"Laura is a great girl.

"After I retired, we travelled the world for three or four months.

"Living out of someone's pocket, travelling for that length of time and not getting into many arguments and with everything very good, that's when I knew Laura was definitely the girl for me to marry and hopefully raise a family with."

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