The Future Is Bright: Rory Parata (Third year academy)
Published 25/09/2015 | 02:30
I was born in Sydney, Australia. My first love was rugby league and I started playing when I was five years old.
My mum is from Cork and she met Dad - a Kiwi - in Australia. We moved back to Ireland when I was nine and I went to play rugby but I didn't like the change to union so I played Gaelic football for a few years. But eventually I came to my senses and started playing rugby again at U-12.
I joined the Connacht academy in 2013 and have been capped at Ireland U-19 level. I played my first game for Connacht in a pre-season match against Wasps in 2013 but I only came on towards the end as a replacement.
That was two years ago and since then I have had my first start against Castres in pre-season - on my 21st birthday - and went on to play and win against Munster at Thomond Park in a friendly.
I made my competitive debut against Dragons in round 1 of the Pro12 and was selected in the centre a week later against Glasgow.
Favourite Connacht game: It has to be the famous Heineken Cup win away to Toulouse in December 2013.
Most memorable game I have played in: Either my senior schools cup semi-final with Rockwell against St Munchins when we won with a last-minute try, or else the Connacht U-19s' interpro final when we beat Leinster to win my only interpro title.
Favourite ground: It's hard to beat a senior cup game with Rockwell in Clanwilliam on a Wednesday afternoon with a wild crowd. But I also love a wet and windy day at the Sportsground.
Date of birth: August 14, 1994
Place of birth: Sydney, Australia
Club: Galwegians RFC
School: St Peters Passage West / Rockwell College
International honours: Ireland U-19s.
Other sports played: football, soccer.