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Ulster Rugby Les Kiss exclusive: Family is everything... my wife and kids have sacrificed a lot for me

By Steven Beacom

Ulster's Director of Rugby Les Kiss has spoken about the debt he owes his family in relation to his successful coaching career.

In an exclusive interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Kiss opened his heart on his love for his wife Julie and children Sophie (22) and Lachlan (19) and how his favourite moments in life are when they are together.

The close knit Kiss clan have travelled the world together in order for Les to take coaching jobs around the globe, starting when they left their native Australia to work at rugby league side London Broncos.

"That was a tough one for my wife because my daughter was just starting school and my son was only a toddler. Julie had no one with her in London, but she was brilliant," recalls a proud husband who enjoys eating out with his wife in Belfast.

"When we moved over from Australia so I could coach with Ireland my daughter was 15/16 and my son was 11/12.

"I wasn't the best dad in the world to take them out of that period of their life.

"We ended up living in Dublin for seven and a half to eight years. When my daughter finished school there she studied in Bristol and is now doing a Masters in Sports and Performance Psychology at Ulster University. My son has just finished school in Dublin and is now studying at Trinity College.

"So Lachlan is in Dublin and Sophie is here but will leave at the end of the year and then it will be just my wife and I.

"It is nice to know we are going to explore something together. Our kids will be off but they will always have a home with us.

"When we all get together it is very special. To me it is the most important part of my life. My family have sacrificed a lot to come over here and to travel all over and it has worked out well so far.

"My wife says we will probably live in Europe forever now or Ireland, north or south, because my son is entrenched in Dublin and Sophie has a boyfriend in England who she met in Bristol so yeah, I am a northern hemisphere man for the rest of my days."

There is a twinkle in his eye when Kiss talks about his daughter's love of sport and his son's passion for the arts, adding with a smile 'he's more intellectual than I am.'

There is also a sense of satisfaction when Kiss tells me he holds Australian and Hungarian passports. His parents emigrated Down Under after the Hungary Revolution in 1956.

He says: "I was born in Australia but come from Hungarian extraction. Mum and dad came from Hungary in the Revolution. Kiss is a very common name over in Hungary."

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