Leinster back row Jamie Heaslip insists he’ll have no problems keeping his feet on the ground after he was named Ireland captain for their autumn international clash with South Africa this weekend.
Heaslip, 28, has been in sterling form in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season and scored two tries against Cardiff Blues last month, and in the absence of Paul O’Connell, Brian O’Driscoll and Rory Best, the Leinster man has got the nod.
He revealed that among the first people to congratulate him was his father Richard, a retired Irish Army Colonel, who was quick to bring him back down to earth.
Heaslip said: “The first thing he said to me was, ‘congratulations on your captaincy, but I’m still a colonel, so I pull rank!’
“They were literally his first words, so I was put back in my box then.
“I’m humbled by it all. The last time I played for Ireland, I got to lead them out for my 50th cap and it was the best feeling I’ve ever had.
“Everything else stays the same. Deccie alluded to it, that we have the players who are well able to step up to the plate and lead in any given situation.
“So I’ll talk the way I’ll normally talk if Paul or Rory or Brian were there, and I’m sure the other guys will do exactly the same thing, and nothing will change.
“I’ve been lucky to have some of the best captains around.”