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Galway sports star goes from Game of Rugby to Game of Thrones

By Jim Hynes and Elizabeth Garner

From Connacht Rugby starlet to star of the Game of Thrones prequel, it truly is a whole different ball game for Portumna’s sports-star-turned actor Peter Claffey!

His casting was announced recently as HBO revealed details of the prequel that has already caused tremors in this world of fantasy adventure.

The series is titled “A Knight of The Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight” and is based on a series of novellas by George R. R. Martin set in the same fantasy world as his A Song of Ice and Fire novels.

It follows the adventures of a wandering knight Ser Duncan the Tall – nicknamed Dunk for short – and his young squire named Aegon V Targaryen, or simply Egg.

And with Claffey as Dunk, Egg is played by Dexter Sol Ansell, a familiar face from “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.”

The 27-year-old Galway actor may seem far too young to play a knight’s apprentice, but the casting has stayed true to the source material. The youthful Egg has been cast just as George R.R. Martin wrote him in his novellas.

Both castings are breakout roles for Ansell and Claffey – especially the latter, a rugby player-turned-actor from Portumna.

George R. R. Martin himself was glowing in his praise for Peter Claffey after confirmation of his casting as Dunk.

“He’s a former professional rugby player turned actor. And he’s tall. Ok, maybe not quite as tall as Ser Duncan the Tall, but still plenty tall, and with the magic of television…His readings were terrific. I think you’re going to love him,” he said.

Caption: Peter Claffey.

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