Thursday 19 September 2019

Bill Johnston: 'Beating the Cheetahs a couple of weeks ago was a pretty big deal'


Bill Johnston in action for Munster during this year’s Celtic Cup. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Bill Johnston in action for Munster during this year’s Celtic Cup. Photo: SPORTSFILE

1. What's your pre-training routine?

On a regular day I'll do a general warm-up followed by some banded activation work for my glutes and hips. I'll then get a ball in my hands and do some passing or kicking, whatever will be relevant to the session ahead.

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

If the music is on we must have won and we're in a great mood so some Drake, Migos or Travis Scott to keep the hype going.

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

I study International Business in UL so probably something related to that. That's the plan at some stage anyway.

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

My sliders, iPad and headphones.

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

Jean Kleyn or Tommy O'Donnell. They seem to be good with their hands so they could build a hut and a raft for us to survive. JK can hunt I hear and cook a braai so I'll give him the nod.

6. What's your favourite Instagram page you follow and why?

I usually take a look at House of Highlights. They've got the best clips from the world of sport especially the NBA and NFL.

7 What do you do when not training or playing a match?

In the summer I'll play golf as often as I can, but in the winter I'll be playing PlayStation and hanging out with friends.

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

It seems like ages ago, but I remember going to U-6s training in Clonmel in the sand pit.

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

If I could stop myself dislocating my shoulder when I was trying to regather a quick kick-off when the game was basically over it'd be great. I would have saved myself a lot of pain and missed game time.

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

A bit more speed and elusiveness would always come in handy.

11. Favourite song lyric?

"With hopes and dreams we had a heavy load, Lord will we ever reach Jones' Road" - The Two Johnnies.

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

As an out-half, you have to admire how Johnny Sexton goes about his business. He performs on the big days for club and country consistently.

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

Mark Butler, my coach at Rockwell College, was a big influence on me. He taught me a lot about playing winning rugby and guided us through a winning cup campaign.

14. What was your first car?

A 2013 Skoda Fabia is my first and current car, so if anyone could help me out with that it would be great. It's a fine motor though and gets me around the place.

15. What sporting event makes your bucket list?

Someday I'd love to be courtside for game seven of the NBA Finals, sitting beside the celebrities, cracking jokes with Kevin Hart.

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

You have got to keep the ball at all costs, don't kick it away and be brave enough to take the opportunity when it arises.

17. What was the last concert you went to?

I saw Kodaline and Kings of Leon up in Marlay Park years ago. It was a brilliant gig, but I must make time for another one soon.

18. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I recently bought a keyboard and pads and some software for producing music on my laptop, so I'm going to give that a go. I played a lot of music when I was younger but this is cooler.

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

Beating the Cheetahs a couple of weeks ago was a pretty big deal for me. It was my first start for Munster and we got a crucial away, bonus-point win.

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

Munster, Munster and Ireland.

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