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Mark Gasnier, from the NRL’s St. George Illawarra Dragons, and his wife Claudine, welcomed their first child on June 1 – a boy named Kalani Jean. Kalani Gasnier’s birth was announced on Twitter. Kalani is a unisex Hawaiian name meaning “heaven, sky”, and of course Jean is the French form of John. Jean is Claudine’s father’s name and John is Mark’s dad, so the middle name is after both grandfathers.

Claudine’s parents are French, and she and Mark spent two years in France while Gasnier played rugby union for a Paris team. Mark and Claudine were married in Sydney early last year.

Since Mark returned to the Dragons, he was been part of their victory in the 2010 Grand Final, when they became Premiers for the first time, and participated in their 2011 World Cup Challenge and Charity Shield wins. He was also selected to join the NSW Rugby League Team for the 2011 State of Origin series.

It was greatly feared that the baby might arrive early and interfere with the plans for State of Origin, but Kalani Jean was considerate enough to turn up on the arranged date so dad could play football.