Ireland’s New Zealand-born scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park has called their series triumph over the All Blacks as both “special” and “surreal”.
The half-back grew up wanting to feature for the country of his birth but, after not gaining international recognition, he decided to move to Leinster in 2016.
Gibson-Park then qualified for the Irishmen via World Rugby’s residency rules and has established himself as their first choice scrum-half.
“The best moment of my career by far,” Gibson-Park told reporters. “I mean I have had some special moments over my career and this was definitely the best, it was pretty surreal when the final whistle went.
“Obviously I didn’t play a massive part the year we (Hurricanes) won Super Rugby so I suppose that has a little bit to do with it as well. Saturday was a pretty amazing feeling.
“We are unbelievably grateful for the support from the people back in Ireland and even for those in the crowd over the last couple of weeks.
“It has just been really amazing to see Irish people walking the streets around Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington, knowing they’re here to support us. I hope they are proud of us.”
Ireland responded superbly to their heavy defeat to the All Blacks in the first Test, taking the next two 23-12 and 32-22.
Incredible four weeks
“It is incredible to have done that especially after losing the first Test in Eden Park. These have been an unreal four weeks, one I will look back on fondly,” Gibson-Park said.
“We really enjoyed Dunedin, a lot of lads said it was one of the best stadiums they had ever been in, our confidence grew after that and we got the job done.
“We obviously came down here with the intention to win; it has been a bit of a slog, we have had a tricky time, a couple of midweek games, it is a testament to everyone involved, not just the players but the management that we did what we did.
“It is hard to put into words how awesome it is. It is just a hell of a buzz man, I am really stoked.”
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