Friday 13 December 2019

Take 20: 'I studied Chinese for a year and a half'

Dave Heffernan
Dave Heffernan

Dave Heffernan

1: Pre-match meal? It has to be chicken breast with sweet potato for me. For all our away trips, it is on the standard menu. For home meals, you need to put a bit more personal preparation into it to make sure you have the fuel you need when taking to the field.

2: Favourite player growing up?

Jonny Wilkinson was always my favourite player when I was younger. He was unbelievably consistent throughout his career. In 2003, he was immense and was probably the reason that England won that World Cup.

3: Best away day room-mate and why?

I would have to say Denis Buckley. Myself and Denis have roomed together for years now, so we are used of each other's habits. He is also very clean and tidy which always helps.

4: Who would headline your houseparty?

I would have hip hop artist Stormzy. He would be sure to get the crowd going.

5: First song they would play?

'Shut up', one of my favourites.

6: You win the Lotto, first thing you would buy?

I think I would book a holiday with a few of my friends and do some travelling.

7: Favourite movie?

'The Dark Knight' is probably my favourite. I thought Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Heath Ledger of course were all phenomenal in it.

8: Favourite TV show and why?

I would say 'Peaky Blinders'. It is one of those shows that when you start watching it you will end up watching one episode after another. It's a big favourite among the lads in the dressing room as well.

9: Earliest rugby memory growing up?

I remember at a very young age going to watch Ballina in the AIL. I can't remember who they were playing but it always just sticks in my head.

10: Who is the joker in the dressing room?

That would be Dominic Robertson McCoy. Peter Claffey does brilliant impressions of all the coaches too but Dom is absolutely hilarious.

11: Favourite holiday destination and why?

I just got back from a week's holiday in Rio de Janeiro. It is an incredible city and hope to go back there again soon.

12: Favourite away ground to play at?

Toulouse's home stadium the Stade Ernest-Wallon is definitely my favourite away ground. It holds a crowd of just under 20,000 and has an unbelievable atmosphere. It is a really tough place to win but it is possible as we saw in 2013.

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

Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor; the basketball player LeBron James and the American philosopher Sam Harris. An unusual mix that would make for interesting conversation and an interesting evening overall.

14: Most memorable moment in rugby?

Winning the PRO12 Final in Edinburgh in 2016 was incredible. It was a season that we will never forget. It was an incredible feeling to beat Leinster in the final and taste success with my home province.

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

I just write down a few things in my journal and listen to music.

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

John Muldoon. He performs at the highest level every week without fail. He has given so much to Connacht over the years. His record playing 320 games for Connacht is just unbelievable and it just shows what a vital player and leader he has been.

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

Brian O'Driscoll was one of the best players that ever played the game and definitely the best player I ever played against. He was massively consistent for club and country and its unlikely that we will ever see anyone on that level again.

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

I studied Chinese for a year and a half in UCD. Probably the most difficult language to learn because of the alternative alphabet and the range of dialects. I think I still have a few words of it if I think long and hard enough.

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

You would be probably find protein milk, Clean Cut Meals and some Coke Zero.

20: Best advice you ever got?

Make the best of what is in your control and take the rest as it happens.

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