Conor Gilsenan was in the pub on the eve of last week’s British and Irish Cup clash against Connacht Eagles, but there wasn’t a Guinness in sight or any other malt-based drink for that matter.

Breaking the journey up with a pit-stop at his parents' family-run pub in Mullingar, the 24-year-old along with his fellow teammates and staff enjoyed a three-course slap-up meal as thoughts turned to Saturday’s game.  

Speaking to this week's edition of 'The Exile,' Gilsenan recalled: “It was really nice for the lads to see where I’m from and to show off my dad’s business which he is immensely proud of.

“Con’s Bar is a massive rugby pub and we get great crowds in for the Irish games and also the province games.

“Hopefully, all being well we go back up to the Premiership and we can start pulling in some big crowds for London Irish games.

“When London Irish are on the TV I get a lot of messages from folk watching me in the pub over there which is nice. That kind of publicity is great for me and it’s always nice to know that people are watching your career."

Leek and potato soup with Irish soda bread to start followed by a choice of either chicken curry or beef stroganoff for main – the home-cooked food was the perfect start to an away trip, not to mention a pint of the black stuff enjoyed by our very own Kieran McCarthy.

Con’s Bar is a shrine of rugby nostalgia, and the Gilsenan household were presented with a couple of London Irish jerseys to add to the collection of memorabilia adorning the walls of the pub. 

You can read more in this Saturday's edition of 'The Exile' priced at just £3. The new-look issue designed by The Irish World, is jam-packed full of news, features and analysis.

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