Monday 23 September 2019

Take 20: 'I once went over the dead ball line in school thinking it was the try line'

Craig Ronaldson once won a silver medal in the U-10s long ball throw in the Kildare County games. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Craig Ronaldson once won a silver medal in the U-10s long ball throw in the Kildare County games. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Craig Ronaldson

1. What boots do you wear and why? I've always been an Adidas Predator man for as long as I can remember. Anything else would just feels strange at this stage.

2. You're in charge of the after-match tunes, what goes on first?

It'd have to be something upbeat anyway, but I would probably just let Spotify do the work and hit the shuffle button.

3. Imagine a world where you're not a rugby player - what's your job?

I'd still try to be involved in the sports industry in some shape or form, but who knows where I'd have ended up.

4. Stranded on a desert island, what three things do you take?

Hopefully there'd be a signal so I'd bring my phone, a lighter and a big knife!

5. Which team-mate would you want with you and why?

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Probably Conor Carey, he'd keep the camp in good mood with his stories about scrummaging and if worst came to the worst he has a bit of meat on him!

6. What was your favourite book as a child?

My favourite books growing up were probably The Goosebumps Series, which was written by RL Stine. They were addictive.

7 What's your pre-training routine?

I wouldn't have a set routine per say, but I'd always be in early enough stretching and prepping.

8. What's your first sporting memory as a player or spectator?

First sporting memory as a spectator was when my granddad brought my cousin and I along to the old Lansdowne Road for our first Irish game. As a player it would be running around the back pitches of Naas RFC kicking a ball till all hours.

9. You have one moment from your career to do over. What is it?

That's a tough one. I once went over the dead ball line in school thinking it was the try line in the last minute! But in generally I wouldn't change much as it's made me who I am today. Maybe I'd change some of my injuries along the way though.

10. What rugby skill would you most like to possess?

That's easy, Speed. Everyone could do with a bit of acceleration.

11. Favourite song lyric?

'Vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti.' Eminem - Loose yourself.

12. What current player in your position do you most admire?

It was always Jonny Wilkinson growing up. But would have to be Owen Farrell at the moment, he's an incredible player.

13. What former coach has had the biggest effect on your game and why?

Jeff Carter was a big influence on me coming through Kilkenny College, then Mike Ruddock and particularly Emmet Farrell when I got to Lansdowne had a big impact.

14. What was your first car?

A red Ford Focus, it's still going strong with my youngest brother. It never let me down.

15. What sporting event makes your bucket list?

Got to be the Super Bowl. I watch a bit of the NFL so I'd love to get to the main event some day.

16. One minute to go in the Champions Cup final, your team is four points down back on your own line. What do you do?

I think a 99-metre maul would do the trick. It'd be a tough spot to score from but we'd give it a go.

17. What was the last concert you went to?

Ed Sheeran.

18. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I won a silver medal for the U-10s long ball throw in the Kildare County games!

19. What's your best memory playing rugby for Connacht?

The final in Murrayfield was obviously special for everyone involved in the province, but as a player it would have to be the big wins against Toulouse in the Champions Cup and the away win against Munster in the lead up to that PRO12 winning season. There's quite a few good nights that stand out.

20. Who'll win the 2019 Guinness PRO14, Champions Cup and Rugby World Cup?

Connacht, Leinster and Ireland.

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