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I wanted to play for Munster, reveals Bressie





BRESSIE almost played rugby for Munster.

The musician and other half of model Roz Purcell is well-known for his rugby career with Leinster before opting for showbiz.

However, he came close to signing for the southern province.

Alan Gaffney left Leinster and took over as Munster head coach in 2002, and Niall 'Bressie' Breslin was one of his early targets.

"My relationship with Limerick started in my rugby days. Not a lot of people know, but when I played with Leinster I was very close to signing with Munster," he said.

"When Alan Gaffney left Leinster he brought me down. At that time Leinster weren't what they are now, and I was kind of a bit disjointed from them - I didn't feel the spirit was there that I would have liked."

The Westmeath star previously captained the Leinster youths and played for the Irish under-21s at the Rugby World Cup in Australia.

"Alan interviewed me and it was 'I'm going to play for Munster next year', and then John Langford got signed instead.


"I remember playing club rugby down there and it was just . . . I don't have to elaborate on the rugby and what it means down in Limerick and the religious aspect of it.

"For me at that time I had given up on rugby and wasn't enjoying it any more and I really wanted to move to Limerick and Munster could have re-ignited that.

"So I was heartbroken when Gaffney went with John Langford, which was ultimately the best call."

Bressie gave up on rugby in 2004 - Munster went on to win the Heineken Cup in 2006 and 2008 - after repeated injuries and discovering music, a life change that has catapulted him to stardom.

The fitness fanatic is currently fronting a new TV show, Bressie's Teenage Kicks, which aired this week. It follows his attempts to put together a band of musicians aged 16 to 24 through an open casting and the subsequent trials and successes that follow.

Bressie said the programme was intended to be serious at heart.

"There's a lot to it," he said. "I think in Ireland we have disjointed ourselves from teenagers.

"We treat them like a separate species and I find it deeply frustrating."