'My dad debuted here at 18': Tom Lynagh's first Reds appearance following dad's footsteps
History repeated when Ian Lynagh drove to Ballymore with an 18-year-old debutant-in-waiting in the passenger seat.
It was nervous grandson Tom needing a lift, the young playmaker impressing when brought on in the second half of the Queensland Reds’ 42-33 trial game loss to the Western Force on Saturday night.
Ian knew the route well, having made the trip for years with son Michael, who also debuted at Ballymore for the Reds as an 18-year-old before going on to win a World Cup with the Wallabies.
“I’ve heard all the stories and history about Ballymore from dad and my grandad and considering all of that it’s an honour to play here,” Lynagh, who has been living with his grandparents since his father returned to their family home in England.
“He got a bit of deja vu on the drive, remembering when my dad debuted here at 18.
“It’s been really good connecting with them after not seeing them for four or so years.
“I was feeling pretty nervous this morning, but warming up I got comfortable and I’ve got all the experience around me and … I got a lot of confidence from that performance.”
Lynagh’s older brother Louis has remained in England, where he plays for Harlequins in the English Premiership and is on the cusp of a Test debut.
But the teenager made the huge call to move back to Australia instead and play for his father’s former club, where he believes he can thrive as a ball-playing No.10.
Lynagh’s level head and sharp skills were a bright spot in an entertaining, 11-try game that was blown up by the late scratchings of Reds star James O’Connor and coach Brad Thorn due to COVID-19.
Jordan Petaia and Jock Campbell were also absent after another outbreak within the side, hampering preparations ahead of next weekend’s final trial game against the NSW Waratahs.
“With a few things being thrown out the window thanks to COVID before kick-off I was really impressed with Tom Lynagh especially,” Reds co-captain Liam Wright said.
“The way he handled himself, commanding the role at 10. He put his body on the line and played some smart footy.”
The Reds begin the Super Rugby Pacific season against the Melbourne Rebels at Suncorp Stadium on February 19.
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