Tuesday 23 January 2018

Healy delighted to be back throwing his weight around

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

THE people at Weight Watchers might want to grab hold of Cian Healy and give him a good talking to. The Leinster and Ireland prop might just put them out of business.

Weight loss is not supposed to be easy and millions are made every year in a booming industry of diet shakes, low-fat meals and other quick-fix products. Then this hulking, 24-year-old man mountain strolls up and talks about gaining and shedding huge quantities of weight as if it is all a bit of a laugh.

On the back of a stunning campaign that saw him scale new heights, the Clontarf man wanted to find an edge and, after consulting with his inner circle, reckoned that putting on some extra beef was the way to go. He tried it, didn't like it, so he lost it. If only we all had it so easy.

Healy's fighting weight is 112kg, but over the summer he added an extra 8kg. He hasn't lost it all, he doesn't want to. It is the balance the prop must achieve between the explosive nature of his ball-carrying game and the nuts and bolts of his scrummaging.

"We came up with it in a group, brainstorming on what I could do in pre-season and we decided I'd get heavier," he explained. "Pre-season, I put on a good few pounds and didn't like it, so I took it off. I went up to 120kg and I'm back down at 116kg now.

"I wanted to put it up just for scrums, just to see if the extra weight would help -- it required a lot of heavy lifting in the gym and it was all very strength-orientated. Then, when we got into proper training and playing a bit of rugby, I just felt too heavy and sluggish so I had to get rid of it.

"I'm still up a bit, but that jump to 120kg was too much. I wasn't too keen on it, so I cut the meals in half for a while."

With just two starts and two substitute appearances to his name so far this campaign, Healy is still finding his feet along with so many of his team-mates in blue. Having come through the 9-6 win over Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, he admits he is not yet at perfect pitch after a bicep injury thwarted his ability to play.

"You've got to have time to build it up in games. I've been doing a fair bit of training, trying to push it out without the extra game time. You can't directly replace it (game time), so it's just going to take a few games to get into it," he said.

"It is hard to enjoy games when we're loose. When you feel a bit off the mark, it is hard to enjoy, but getting back into the heavy physicality, I did enjoy that.

"We work hard on our detail. It is just a matter of getting those smaller things right. We are close to putting it all together."

Leinster struggled in the scrum against Exeter, while the line-out also failed at times. That inconsistency, Healy says, is something they will focus on this week. "Scrum and line-outs are all about accuracy," he said, "so we are working at the perfection end of it to get it right."

Irish Independent

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