Lauren Day dedicates rugby RBS Six Nations win to sister Channing
Women's rugby star Lauren Day's thoughts were with her tragic soldier sister as her Irish international team-mates were crowned RBS Six Nations champions at the weekend, according to friends.
It's less than five months since medic, Corporal Channing Day, was killed by insurgents in Afghanistan.
Friends say her sister's joy at the Six Nations triumph was tempered by her grief for her "beautiful" sister who was one of her biggest fans.
Lauren was on the bench as Ireland came back from behind to beat France 15-10 on Friday night but were confirmed as champions the next day as Italy's women lost to England, giving the title to the Irish girls.
It's the first time Ireland have ever won the Six Nations title and followed their historic win over Scotland last month when they claimed their first Triple Crown.
And they can seal the Grand Slam next Sunday when they play Italy in Milan on St Patrick's Day.
Corporal Channing Day, who was 25, followed her sister Lauren's rugby career closely and attended a number of games.
She served with 3 Medical Regiment and she was killed alongside another soldier during a firefight in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province in October last year.
They had been training local police when their patrol came under fire.
Lauren Day told more than 1,000 mourners at the funeral in First Comber Presbyterian Church of her pride in her "brave, beautiful and determined sister".
She said Channing always wanted to be a soldier. "She loved what she did and we are so proud of her."
Lauren, who has another sister Laken and a brother Aaron, said Channing had done more in her life than most women of her age.
Lauren has posted regularly on her Twitter account about her sister and only last month told her followers that a badge had been produced in tribute to Channing.
Yesterday morning she sent a Mother's Day greeting to her mum Rosemary on her Facebook page.
Lauren, who has also played for Ulster, is a teacher in the north of England and plays prop for the Firwood Waterloo ladies team who are chasing the Championship title and are involved in two play-offs for a place in the Premiership in April.
Her colleagues at the Firwood club have said they're delighted for Lauren who will be 28 next month.