COME HERE: Scott Ireland makes a break and leaves big Wendell Sailor in his wake.
COME HERE: Scott Ireland makes a break and leaves big Wendell Sailor in his wake. Rob Williams

FLASHBACK: Ireland and Sailor clash in Ipswich

IT was Scott Ireland's 15 minutes of fame that lasted for a week, and he had to share it with Big Dell.

As the Fassifern fullback prepares for the Ipswich A Grade grand final on Saturday we take a trip down memory lane to recall the day Wendell Sailor rocked Ipswich in the Queensland Cup.

Ireland was playing for the Jets and Sailor, returning to the NRL after a drug suspension he received in rugby union, had been put back to play with Burleigh after a week earlier lining up in the St George/Illawarra Dragons win over Newcastle.

The media spotlight was on Sailor, but Ireland was named to mark Big Dell on the wing that July 12, 2008 day and the afterglow of that spotlight was also on him.

 

WRESTLE MANIA: Wendell Sailor and Scott Ireland get up close and personal.
WRESTLE MANIA: Wendell Sailor and Scott Ireland get up close and personal. Rob Williams

Ireland was 21 back then and in the early stages of his Q Cup career when his phone rang off the hook.

"The media ended up running with the story 'Ireland v Sailor' and had a bit of fun with it," Ireland grins today.

"It got blown out of proportion to being this battle of the wingers, when really it was more about Wendell just playing in the comp'.

"The media made it all about me, and I got 15 minutes of fame nationally.

"I was an apprentice plumber at the time and my boss was wondering why my phone was ringing all the time. But he was good. He knew it was a one-off thing."

"I was in my first Q Cup year and playing some good footy. I'd played a bit of rep footy that year and I was hoping my career was on the up.

"All of a sudden I was thrust into one full week of national media, but then it was all over.

"It was a whirlwind but certainly a good experience."

 

DELL-ICIOUS: Scott Ireland does his 'Incredible Hulk' impersonation as Wendell Sailor grapples with Donald Malone.
DELL-ICIOUS: Scott Ireland does his 'Incredible Hulk' impersonation as Wendell Sailor grapples with Donald Malone. Rob Williams

The quick witted Sailor sledged Ireland before the match calling him "Kate Hudson...almost famous", after the name of the film the Hollywood actress starred in.

"Wendell was on the radio and said it. It was a good sledge," Ireland says.

"But when we played he was really respectful and didn't sledge me during the game.

"Burleigh ended up getting the chocolates that day but I was happy that I held my own.

"Neither of us scored a try, but I had one disallowed.

"Wendell passed the ball in-goal and I got it. To this day I reckon I scored it."

The match was played at the Briggs Rd fields and a huge crowd turned up to watch Sailor strut his stuff.

"Wendell was unbelievable," Ireland says.

"He stayed around after the game for two hours shaking the hands of the kids.

"There was double the crowd we normally got, and they were there just for him.

"I have all the time in the world for Wendell. He came up after the game for a chat. He was great to me."

 

GOOD AFTERNOON IPSWICH: Wendell Sailor signals to the large crowd at Briggs Rd.
GOOD AFTERNOON IPSWICH: Wendell Sailor signals to the large crowd at Briggs Rd. Rob Williams


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