Friday 20 July 2018

'Duncan Casey makes the whole team laugh, but most of the time it's at my expense'

Take 20: Darren O'Shea

Darren O’Shea idolised Paul O’Connell when he was growing up. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Darren O’Shea idolised Paul O’Connell when he was growing up. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

1: Pre-match meal?

On game day I would usually eat Turkey burgers and mashed potatoes. At that stage it is just topping up on protein and carbs beforehand. If you are you playing on the Saturday it's what you eat during the week as well that helps you fuel up for the game.

2: Favourite player growing up?

Paul O'Connell just because of everything he has done, the leadership he had over the years, and what he has done for Munster and Irish Rugby.

3. Best away day room-mate and why?

I would be lucky to get anyone when it comes to roommates. The lads always complain that I'm snoring the house down, so it's whoever will have me on the day, they're my favourite.

4. Who would headline your houseparty?

'The Weeknd'. I saw him during the summer playing at Longitude and thought he was unreal. 

5. First song they would play?

'The Hills' or 'Party Monster', it doesn't really matter all of his songs are good.

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

I would buy a house abroad to keep the parents happy. Just for all of the stuff they have done for me growing up.

7. Favourite movie?

'Good Will Hunting.' It's inspirational movie, and I'm just thinking on the spot. 

8. Favourite TV show and why?

I have just finished watching 'Power' and 'Game of Thrones.'

9. Earliest rugby memory growing up?

My earliest rugby memory is probably picking rugby over soccer at around U-10s. I remember getting a bollocking from the soccer coaches because I picked rugby instead. That was it for my soccer playing days. 

10. Who is the joker in the dressing room?

Duncan Casey definitely. He's constantly slagging and making everyone laugh which is good. But most of the time at my expense, which isn't good.

11. Favourite holiday destination and why?

I went to Jamaica when I was younger, with my family, and it's like paradise over there. I'll have to go back again at some stage.

12. Favourite away ground to play at?

It would probably be Ospreys' Liberty Stadium, the pitch is like a carpet there. It's just unreal to play on.

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

I'd definitely invite Kevin Hart, for the craic. Mike Tyson and Anthony Giddens too, because their lives are such great stories and they are all such interesting people. 

14. Most memorable moment in rugby?

Probably last year playing the Maori All Blacks and beating them. It was a poignant occasion too.

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

I have things that are normal to me but other people might think I am bit of a weirdo for doing them. I like to listen to music and I don't go out on the pitch before the match starts.

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

Probably Francis Saili because he is electric. Every time he had the ball he looked dangerous.

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

George Smith. Just because he was an absolute freak at the breakdown. Even though it was two years ago and he was at the wrong end of his career.

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

I was chatting to John Ryan the other day and I don't know how it came into the conversation but I told him that I was a month pre-mature. He couldn't believe it. 

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

There's not much in my fridge because we are always eating out. Eggs and milk anyway I suppose.

20. Best advice you ever got?

Play every game as if it's your last and make sure you enjoy it. One of my underage coaches Mossy Barry told me that.

Irish Independent

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