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'I hope both teams kill each other,' jokes Martin O'Neill on Dublin v Kerry

O’Neill to miss Croker clash and take in a game at the Rugby World Cup.

Bernard Brogan: Dubs star visited the Ireland team hotel recently.
Bernard Brogan: Dubs star visited the Ireland team hotel recently.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

IT WILL BE All-Blacks rather than All-Ireland for Martin O’Neill this Sunday.

O’Neill had hoped to be in Croke Park when champions Kerry and challengers Dublin renew their rivalry in front of a full house.

Instead, the Ireland boss and assistant Roy Keane will travel to Wembley to see New Zealand in their Rugby World Cup opener against Argentina.

“Personally I don’t want any of the two teams to win with no Ulster side in it,” O’Neill joked when asked for his football final prediction.

“No, that’s not true. It will obviously be a really great game.

“Dublin did well to beat a resurgent Mayo in the second game, and perhaps at one stage you might have thought that Mayo had the upper hand in the game. Kerry are just always strong.

“I went to the All-Ireland final a few years ago with those two teams playing in it and if it’s anything like that… that was the one that Kerry threw away, wasn’t it?

I won’t tell you who I was cheering on that day… but they lost.

With a 3.30pm throw-in in the football, and the rugby not kicking off until 4.45pm, O’Neill will still be able to keep an eye on the action on Jones’ Road.

“Roy got some tickets to the All-Blacks against Argentina in Wembley on Sunday and I said yes because I’d forgotten about the All-Ireland being the same day.

“Even though I’m joking about the teams, I would genuinely love to have gone to the game. Since it’s on TV, I’ll have the iPad with me.

“I’ll still be cheering on Kerry,” he said but then explained: “I won’t be, actually.

“I’m actually quite friendly with young Bernard Brogan. He came out to our hotel the other night so I’ve a distinct interest in his performance.

“Let me put it this way: if there was an Ulster team in it, I’d be cheering them on.

And he joked: “Personally I hope both teams kill each other. There’s a fairly decent chance of that happening if the Mayo game is anything to go by.”

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Niall Kelly

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