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'Always be world class at the things that don't require talent'

Take 20: Denis Buckley

Denis Buckley finds it hard to resist the endless sun of a holiday in Dubai. Picture: Sportsfile
Denis Buckley finds it hard to resist the endless sun of a holiday in Dubai. Picture: Sportsfile

1. Pre-match meal? I try to have the same general routine. It can vary sometimes but I like to have a smoothie with oats, peanut butter and almond milk. If something works why change it?

2. Favourite player growing up?

I should probably be picking a forward but for me it has to be Brian O'Driscoll. Having gone to school in Blackrock he was obviously somebody I looked up to. I always admired other players in my position but for me O'Driscoll was number one.

3. Best away day room-mate and why?

I would say Dave Heffernan. Like all of us front-rows he is clean and quiet which are the most important characteristics for any room-mate.

4. Who would headline your house party?

I would say Drake. I listen to a lot of his music particularly before games.

5. First song they would play?

Headlines. A brilliant tune that would have the place rocking.

6. You win the lotto, what is the first thing you would buy?

I would head to Las Vegas for a week with all my mates on a private jet. No expense would be spared.

7. Favourite movie?

It would have to be Hancock. I love Will Smith movies and he gives a brilliant performance in Hancock. I have watched it over and over and it still makes me laugh.

8. Favourite TV show and why?

Game of Thrones hands down. Most of the guys in the squad are into it and there are always spoiler alerts flying around so you have to stay up to date. It's a great one to pass the time when on downtime or sitting in an airport on an away trip.

9. Earliest rugby memory growing up?

I can't remember the year but I do remember being a mascot for a Connacht game when Eric Elwood was captain. He was someone I hugely looked up to and of course is still a massive influence in the club.

10. Who is the joker in the dressing room?

Tom McCartney - He's always acting the maggot!

11. Favourite holiday destination and why?

Of all the places I have been Dubai is the one that sticks out for me. It's such a unique different destination, and the endless sun on your back helps too! I hope to get back there soon.

12. Favourite away ground to play at?

I love playing in Thomond Park. It is a fantastic stadium with an amazing history and atmosphere. It is a huge achievement to beat Munster there and something we managed to do in our PRO12 winning year after many years of trying.

13: Three people (dead or alive) who you would invite to dinner?

I would invite George Best, Jay and Emily Ratajkowski. It would probably be best to meet them all separately as it would be a mad mix hosting them all together.

14: Most memorable moment in rugby?

Beating Harlequins in the Heineken Cup was a massive occasion. We had gone through a terrible run in the lead up and nobody gave us a hope. In many ways that victory and others in Europe gave us the belief that we could compete and win at a higher level which we did in 2016.

15: Do you have any pre-match superstitions/rituals?

I go for morning coffee with Finlay Bealham and Tom McCartney. Scrummaging obviously is the main topic of conversation.

16: Who is the best player you have played alongside and why?

Dave McSharry. On his day, he was simply unstoppable.

17: Who is the best player you have played against and why?

Thierry Dusautoir was the most difficult opponent I ever faced. When we played them in Toulouse in the Heineken Cup he was phenomenal at the breakdown.

18: Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?

I do a lot of online gaming. As a professional rugby player, there is down time where you need to rest and relax so it's a good fit.

19: Name three things that are always in your fridge?

Steak, peanut butter and eggs. The staple diet of any prop.

20: Best advice you ever got?

Always be world class at the things that don't require talent.

Irish Independent

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