Saturday 23 June 2018

Rugby star Tomas hoping to jive his way into next round as 'Dancing with the Stars' heats up

Dancing With The Stars competitor Tomas O’Leary and his partner Giulia Dotta rehearsing
for the show. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Dancing With The Stars competitor Tomas O’Leary and his partner Giulia Dotta rehearsing for the show. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Melanie Finn and Laura Lynott

Former rugby star Tomas O'Leary insists he's still finding his feet on RTÉ's 'Dancing with the Stars' as he swaps the pitch for the dance-floor.

But with the first elimination looming large this weekend, the competition between the 11 celebrities has intensified. The Corkonian (34) is doing his best to take the pressure in his stride.

"You just have to go out have fun and I'll try to do a decent Jive. Last time I danced a Foxtrot which is a lot slower so hopefully I'll get a chance to illustrate my ability," he said.

Let's not forget - this is a former Munster and Ireland scrum half who was a member of the 2009 Grand Slam-winning team, so he knows a thing of two about being on the victorious side.

Despite insisting a win is "not going to happen" for him, he may yet prove to be a dark horse.

The founder of watch company Told & Co said he initially found rehearsals easy thanks to his fitness levels, but things are starting to get more intense now.

"It's definitely getting more challenging on the body. When I go home at night, my back and my knees are sore from doing the flicks and the kicks," he told the Irish Independent.

"I guess my rugby background does help, but past injuries are restricting me a little bit so it helps and hinders you at the same time. I was relatively fit anyway."

He has been partnered with lithe Italian Guilia Dotta and says she is more relaxed than some of the other pros.

"The rehearsals are great craic. I'm so glad I got Guilia because her personality mirrors mine in a way, so if we need to take a break and have a coffee, it's not an issue."

Meanwhile, Jake Carter will be hoping support from his brother Nathan will inspire him to stay top of the leader board.

"He's coming up with a couple of lads from his band," Jake said. "Hopefully he'll be one of the loudest in the audience cheering me on and I hope I can get the dance right and smash it for him."

Irish Independent

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