Tuesday 17 September 2019

Take 20: Matt Healy

Matt Healy says Robbie Henshaw is the best player he has played with. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Matt Healy says Robbie Henshaw is the best player he has played with. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

'A Lamborghini for every squad member - except for JP Cooney. He'd get a Toyota Yaris'

1: Pre-match meal?

Home-made pancakes, with all the toppings. A nice sugar kick is always great before game time.

2: Favourite player growing up?

Denis Hickey. He was an incredible player and he played in my position. For some reason he is sometimes forgotten about - maybe because of the amount of outstanding backs that played for Ireland over the past 20 years. Hickey was top-class though and had some incredible performances for Leinster and Ireland.

3: Best away-day room-mate and why?

Max Deegan… or Andrew to most people… my most recent room-mate. He is as quiet as a mouse!

4: Who would headline your house party?

The Kings of Leon.

5: First song they would play?

Black Thumbnail. It's one of my favourite tunes, but I reckon they'd have a good set for a house party.

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

A Lamborghini for every squad member. Except for JP Cooney - he'd get a Toyota Yaris. 

7: Favourite movie?

Inglorious Basterds is a great movie with an unbelievable cast like Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger. With Quentin Tarantino involved you're guaranteed a good laugh and plenty of shocks along the way.

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8: Favourite TV show and why?

Tough call between Peaky Blinders and Breaking Bad. Great storylines that keep making you want to watch one more episode. On away trips I enjoy watching a few episodes to pass the time when we are waiting for the game. Can't wait for the new Peaky Blinders series!

9: Earliest rugby memory growing up?

Losing to Blackrock College in the first round of the Leinster Senior Cup when I played for Gonzaga College. I remember a feeling of elation and pride as it was such a good game to be involved in, even though we lost. It was a very strange feeling, and probably the only time I've felt happy after losing a game.

10: Who is the joker in the dressing room?

JP Cooney, hands down. Always up to devilment!

11: Favourite holiday destination and why?

It has to be Cuba, it's unlike any holiday I'd ever been on. Stayed with families in different remote areas who cooked our meals etc. A truly unique trip. I hope to go back there sometime in the future. 

12: Favourite away ground to play at?

Stade Toulousain. There is an incredible atmosphere and when you go there you know you are taking on world-class opposition. We have great memories of that stadium from beating Toulouse there in the Heineken Cup in 2013. 

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

Ricky Gervais, Louis Theroux, the English documentary filmmaker and broadcaster; Aziz Ansari, the actor from Master of None. I think we'd tick all the boxes with that line-up.

14: Most memorable moment in rugby?

Winning the Pro12 final in 2016 was something that will stay in my memory forever. An incredible season that will never be forgotten.

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

No, I don't believe in them.

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

Robbie Henshaw - he came on the scene as a teenager in my first year at Connacht, and now he's a Lion, need I say more. 

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

Geo Aplon, so evasive and quick for a such a small man. He is a really important player for Grenoble as we saw in a Challenge Cup quarter-final a few years ago.

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

Myself and my partner are expecting our first child in January.

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

Milk, mayonnaise, spinach.

20: Best advice you ever got?

I was advised by many with my home club Lansdowne to explore professional rugby. It was great advice and I haven't looked back since.


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