Billy Stickland/INPHO Connacht's Mack Hansen.
# Roots
Hansen gets fresh trim and settles into new Galway house as Six Nations looms
The Canberra native he is taking nothing for granted about making this year’s Irish squad.

LAST UPDATE | Jan 10th 2023, 8:31 AM

MACK HANSEN HAS committed his future to Connacht by purchasing a home on the outskirts of the city and said he is ‘in for the long haul’ in Galway.

But the flamboyant winger is also undergoing something of a transformation as he is not happy with his current form and one of the first changes he made was to get rid of his long hair.

And while promising Connacht lock Darragh Murray last weekend raised thousands of euros for charity by cutting his mullet, Hansen popped into a barber in the city and got his first haircut since arriving in Ireland from Australia the summer before last.

Hansen, a bolter who made the first of nine Irish appearances for the opening Six Nations game against Wales last February, said he is taking nothing for granted about making this year’s Irish squad and felt he needed to change some things in his life on and off the field to get back on track.

“I haven’t been very happy with how I’m playing over the last couple of weeks,” said the 24-year old. “I’m just fully focussed on playing some good footie here and trying to put my name forward.

“I don’t think it has been to the standard that I kind of hold to myself so this game was a step in the right direction, less mistakes and what not but these games I just want to focus on playing well and if I play well then that leads into a Six Nations call-up.

“Honestly, as I was saying, I wasn’t happy with how I was playing. I felt like I was in a bit of a rut so I blamed it on the hair! It’s the new me! It was just time to get rid of it. Oh, I’m growing it back and I think I will do sort of thing next time I cut it when it’s a bit longer. It will be for charity.”

The Canberra native has also laid down roots in Galway, purchasing a base in Castlegar, home to the famed Connolly brothers and the club which has won the most county hurling titles. But, for now, Hansen is concentrating on rugby.

“I’m really enjoying Galway. Like, all of my teammates are such close friends now. Actually, I just bought a place here, so I’m settled in for the long haul. I love it, it’s a great place to get around.

“The lads have been giving me a fair bit of stick about my haircut but all the fans were saying ‘I love your haircut.’ It’s great, everyone is so nice, compared to my teammates! It’s great, everyone is just so friendly, not afraid to chat to you, or come up to you, which I actually enjoy. Yeah, it’s great.”

His 22 appearances for Connacht so far have involved 19 in the league and three in the Champions Cup and he’s set for his first taste of the Challenge Cup in the coming weekends at home to Brive and away to Newcastle Falcons.

Hansen, who last year signed a contract extension which will keep him at the Sportsground until the summer of 2025, is determined to use those games to fine-tune and put himself in the frame for the Six Nations squad.

“Any game you get the opportunity to get to take the field is an opportunity to play well. I think it would be kind of childish of me to take it that I was in that Six Nations thing. If I took the easy approach to it, it would actually hinder me, so I’m not thinking about that. If I’m playing good footie then the rest will take care of itself. That’s what I’m focussed on,” added Hansen.

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