Take 20: ‘Chris Cloete would entertain and probably find a way off the island’


Darren O'Shea. Picture: Sportsfile
Darren O’Shea. Picture: Sportsfile

1. What’s your pre-training routine? Just get out onto the pitch a small bit earlier and work on individual stuff, like kick-offs, I would be looking at my lifting for those. That would be my pre-training routine. I get through the things I need to work on at the start of the sessions and then we all come together in the group part.

2. You’re in charge of the after match tunes, what goes on first?

It would probably be some rap music. I’m not sure, it changes from time to time, but it would be something old school like Biggie Smalls. Hopefully it would go down well.

3. Imagine a world that you’re not a rugby player – what’s your job?

If I wasn’t a rugby player I would like to be a PE teacher.

4. Stranded on a desert island, what three things do you take?

Probably my phone, a connection for the internet, and headphones. I wouldn’t be bored then.

5. Which team-mate would you want with you and why?

Someone like Chris Cloete would keep you entertained all the time. He’d probably find a way of actually getting off the island too, which would be handy.

6. What’s your favourite Instagram page you follow and why?

House of Highlights.

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7. What do you do when not training or playing a match?

I try to get back to Cork whenever I can, to spend time with my family and my girlfriend. I go to the cinema, just try and get to see my friends and stuff. I try to keep busy all the time.

8. What’s your first sporting memory as a player or spectator?

One moment that stands out for me was when Man United won the Champions League against Bayern Munich in that famous match. I watched that with my dad when I was younger. United scored the two goals in the last few minutes. I saw it on TV there recently and it brought back all of the memories. I’m a United fan too, of course.

9. You have one moment from your career to do over. What is it?

Nothing stands out in particular. I’m pretty happy with how it’s gone so far.

10. What rugby skill would you most like to possess?

I’d love to be able to score some tries.

11. Favourite song lyric?

I wouldn’t have a clue, but it would be something from Biggie Smalls probably.

12. What current player in your position do you most admire?

Probably Brodie Retallick. He is arguably the best second-row in the world right now. The way he is playing at the moment is unbelievable and he’s a joy to watch. He adds so much to the All Blacks.

13. What former coach has had the biggest effect on your game and why?

It was probably one of my amateur coaches. Moss Barry made me realise what I could do with rugby, and made me take the game that bit more seriously when I was younger. Before that I was just playing rugby for the sake of it, because I was playing with my friends. He was a big influence.

14. What was your first car?

A Ford Focus.

15. What sporting event makes your bucket list?

The Super Bowl. It’s such a big sporting occasion. The World Cup final too.

16. One minute to go in the Champions Cup final, your team are four points down back on your own line. What do you do?

Give the ball to someone who is a little faster than myself. But with my new-found try-scoring ability, I might try and score it.

17. What was the last concert you went to?

Longitude festival.

18. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I was a month premature.

19. What’s your best memory playing rugby for your team?

Probably beating the Maori All Blacks the year before last. That was unforgettable for everyone involved.

20. Who’ll win the 2019 PRO14, Champions Cup and Rugby World Cup?

I’m hoping that Munster will win the first two competitions and then Ireland can do the business in the Rugby World Cup. That would be some year.

Irish Independent

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