Sunday 21 January 2018

The future is bright: Cillian Gallagher (Sub academy)

Cillian Gallagher. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie
Cillian Gallagher. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie Newsdesk Newsdesk

I was born and raised in Sligo and didn't pick up an oval ball until I was 13; instead I played soccer and Gaelic during my earlier years. I started playing rugby with Sligo RFC at U-14 and continued until U-18s last year and currently at senior level this year.

I went to Summerhill College and while it was not traditionally a rugby school, last year we reached the Connacht Senior Cup final for the first time in the school's history, losing narrowly to Garbally College.

I was first selected for Connacht for the U-15 development squad and although I was selected for the U-16 and U-17 squads it wasn't till U-18s that I started to seriously focus on rugby, managing to secure a place in the sub academy at the end of last season.

Favourite Connacht game?

There's a few that stick out in my mind but it has to be the 10-9 win over Leinster in 2014, Kieran Marmion's great solo try from that game is one that I will never forget!

Most memorable game I have played in?

It has to be last year's Senior Cup semi-final with Summerhill against Sligo Grammar. There has always been an intense rivalry between the two schools and it was Summerhill's first senior victory against them, and winning in front of their home crowd made it all the sweeter!

Favourite ground?

The Sportsground of course! It was the pitch where I first played in a Connacht jersey and it has been the location of so many memorable moments for me.

Date of birth: July 23, 1997

Place of birth: Sligo

Height: 197cm

Weight: 111kg

Position: Lock/Back-row

Club: Sligo RFC

School: Summerhill College, Sligo

International honours: Ireland Schools 2015

Other sports played: Basketball, Gaelic, Soccer

Irish Independent

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