Wednesday 23 January 2019

'I would like to get in Michael Jordan's brain'

Take 20: JJ Hanrahan

JJ Hanrahan has just started a course in psychology. Photo: Sportsfile
JJ Hanrahan has just started a course in psychology. Photo: Sportsfile

1. Pre-match meal?

Half turkey burger, mashed potato and some veg. I don't usually go over the top before a game.

2. Favourite player growing up?

Ronan O'Gara, Matt Giteau and Dan Carter. I watched them very closely growing up and tried to learn from them.

3. Best away day room-mate and why?

It's been mixed and matched lately. Duncan Williams is a good room-mate. He's clean and tidy and I've had him a few times. He doesn't snore either and he is quiet which is the main thing.

4. Who would headline your house party?

From J Cole to Fleetwood Mac. J Cole would end the night, Fleetwood Mac would start it.

5. First song they would play?


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

A holiday home in Barbados. I was there once before and it was the best holiday ever.

7. Favourite movie?

Gladiator is definitely up there as one of the best. Russell Crowe is unreal in everything. If it's not that it would probably be the Wolf of Wall Street, Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio are brilliant.

8. Favourite TV show and why?As of recently probably 'Manhunt: Unabomber'. I just thought it was an incredible show. I watched it on Netflix and really enjoyed it.

Netflix really passes the time when we are going on long bus journeys or flights. It's great to just stick on a few episodes or a movie.

9. Earliest rugby memory growing up?

With the Castleisland U-16s we won the Munster title. That was pretty good for a small town. We were chuffed with that, and that was my earliest memory.

10. Who is the joker in the dressing room?

There are a few. The main two right now are probably Mike Sherry and Dave Kilcoyne. Chris Cloete has come in and he has added a bit of banter there.

It's taken a while, but we are slowly starting to understand his sayings.

11. Favourite holiday destination and why?

For city I would say Copenhagen and for sun I would say Barbados.

12. Favourite away ground to play at?

I have always enjoyed the Leicester Tigers anytime I have been there with Northampton or Munster. It is quite similar to Thomond Park. It can be hostile at times. You are in a cauldron but it is enjoyable to play there. Between Munster and Northampton. I haven't started a game at Welford Road with Munster yet, but I did with Northampton. Starting a game is definitely better than coming off the bench. But they are both very enjoyable.

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

Michael Jordan definitely, he is one of the best sports people of all time. I would like to get in his brain. Johnny Cash, I enjoy his music from listening to my dad growing up. I'm sure he would have a few interesting stories. Denzel Washington, he is amazing as well.

14. Most memorable moment in rugby?

At the moment, my first Munster cap was definitely one of the best ones to date.

When you look back on it, it was achieving a childhood dream - you don't forget those things. My first time off the bench was against Dragons and my first start was against Zebre.

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

I don't really. I wouldn't have a massive belief in them anymore. I used to when I was younger. I used to have to put on my right sock before my left but that's gone out the window now. It's just all about the routine anymore.

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

I am going to take all of the Irish players out of this. The best player I have played alongside is Louis Picamoles at Northampton.

He is a colossal figure at No 8 with his ball carrying and off-loading ability. As a leader on the field he was just amazing.

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

I was involved in Dan Carter's first game for Racing 92 and they put 50 points on us. He had a good game that day.

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

I just started a psychology course.

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

Eggs, bacon and Liberte yogurt.

20. Best advice you ever got?

I got a lot of advice but one of the ones I try to live by is: 'Live everyday as your last, you don't when it will be your last one.'

Irish Independent

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