One Irish Olympian may end up competing against his brother

Paul Gleghorne and his brother Mark will both be playing in the hockey competition

One Irish Olympian may end up competing against his brother

Hockey player Paul Gleghorne. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Ireland and Great Britain have been kept apart in the Group Stages of the Hockey tournament at the Olympic Games, but should they meet in later in the tournament, all eyes will focus on one family.

Paul and Mark Gleghorne will be competing in the Olympics for the first time but will be representing Ireland and Great Britain respectively. Mark previously played for Ireland before switching allegiances in 2011. He missed out on competing at London 2012 due to injury.

The two brothers have previously played against each other in international action. Mark now represents England and was part of the team that travelled to Dublin for back-to-back matches in 2014.

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Despite the rivalry, both brothers regularly make fun of their unique predicament. The rules in Rio, may alter slightly from games in their garden as children in Co. Antrim.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mark said he will find it weird if he faces his brother in Brazil. "I find playing against Paul very weird, it’s not something that is particularly nice because Paul and I are close, we talk a lot and we’ve grown up together so that’s why it’s a bit strange."

Despite the rivalry, between the two brothers, their father will not take sides. "Our dad is like our biggest fan but he’s caught in the middle and he won’t pick a side whenever we’re playing against each other."

"He says he doesn’t really support a team, he just supports us so quite often he would wear a GB top and an Irish top over the top of the other. He sits on the fence."

Ireland begin their campaign on Saturday morning against India at 3pm. Great Britain start their campaign 90 minutes later against Belgium.