Singer Brian Kennedy has caused amazement in Irish rugby circles after refusing to confirm or deny reports of a gay fling with a top international player.

The Sunday Independent carries the Kennedy story but doesn’t say if the player involved is Irish or not.

According to the paper Kennedy, who regularly sings the Ireland’s Call anthem before Irish matches, has been rumoured to have ‘hooked up’ with a well-known rugby international.

The Belfast born star, soon to publish his autobiography, simply refused to dismiss the rumour when he spoke to the paper.

“Oh dear. I can’t confirm or deny,” Kennedy is quoted as saying, just 24 hours after the Six Nations win over Scotland.

Kennedy did say: “What I like in a guy is old-school masculinity. I certainly would be very attracted to an alpha male guy. The bigger and stronger the better.

“I sometimes meet gentlemen who are at the top of what they do from a sports point of view.

“All you need to know is that they are some of the finest men on the planet. I’m friendly with some of them. And some from the other teams.

“I lived in England for a long time so I got to know one or two over there too.”

Currently a judge on the Irish version of The Voice show, Kennedy also talked of his match-day experiences singing for the Irish rugby crowd.

“Coming from the Falls Road you can imagine standing on our big beautiful pitch - England on the one side, Ireland on the other, and our President in front of me,” he added.

“There’s no greater feeling. I feel so proud. You hear the whole crowd singing. In that moment you understand what it must be like to be Bono singing on a normal day.”

In the interview, Kennedy did refer to his friendships with Irish rugby stars.

“I’ve met most of them and the ones I’ve met are very friendly. Brian O’Driscoll is obviously a total sweetheart,” he said.

“I remember I had been particularly heart-broken at one point and I met him out socially. He had just started to date Amy and looked really happy.

“He asked me how I was doing and I was pretty upset and we had a conversation. The next day, he sent me a text saying ‘you’re a great guy, the right guy will come along I know it. And don’t you worry about anything’. It’s so sweet that he thought to do that.

“I’m pretty friendly with Alan Quinlan too, who is an absolute sweetheart of a man. He is an alpha male and very up for being vulnerable. Which is an incredible quality in someone so strong. I think that makes him even more of a man. We have a really good friendship.”

Brian Kennedy