Friday 25 May 2018

'I'm a divil for the prawns'

Take 20: John Ryan

John Ryan idolised John Hayes when he was growing up. Photo: Sportsfile
John Ryan idolised John Hayes when he was growing up. Photo: Sportsfile

Prop lifts lid on Munster dressing-room and reveals his love for Kerry, comedy and Harry Potter

1: Pre-match meal?

Consistently I will have turkey burgers with mashed potatoes before a game. I have soup before that too. I wouldn't eat red meat on the day of a game and turkey burgers are easier to break down so I go for them.

2: Favourite player growing up?

For me it was definitely John Hayes. He went about his business quietly and was never in the limelight and I liked that too. And of course he was a prop.

3. Best away day room-mate and why?

That would have to be Niall Scannell. He's the best because he puts up with my snoring first and foremost. He always has the inside scoops and never shuts up as well. It's good to have that.

4. Who would headline your house party?

Walking on Cars - I am listening to them a lot at the moment. Saying all that, I am very easy-going when it comes to music.

5. First song they would play?

'Speeding cars', I just like to keep it simple and it's a good song.

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

I would pay off my mortgage and buy a holiday home in Kerry. I love Kerry, that's where my grandmother is from.

7. Favourite movie?

Randomly, I am a fan of the Harry Potter movies but they are all the same to me.

8. Favourite TV show and why?

'Game of Thrones' or 'The Walking Dead' because there is a lot of gore involved and they're interesting as well.

9. Earliest rugby memory growing up?

Rocking up to my first training at U-10, and not having a clue of any of the rules. It was only five-man scrums so I was playing in the second-row. But I played No 8 until I moved swiftly into prop.

10. Who is the joker in the dressing room?

Killer and Duncan Casey are definitely the two. They are just a joke really.

11. Favourite holiday destination and why?

I would have to say Sicily. I have only been there once, two summers ago, but I would definitely go back because it was incredible.

12. Favourite away ground to play at?

Last summer playing in the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey was unbelievable. It was about 35 degrees at the time too.

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

I would have to go for comedians; Alan Partridge, Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd.

14. Most memorable moment in rugby?

The game against Glasgow last October in Thomond Park. It definitely sticks out from the rest.

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

I tape my head before every game to protect the ears. I didn't do it in Japan because the heat was ridiculous. With the tape on there'd be no issue smashing my head into a maul. But when I was playing two years ago I ripped my ear off without it, I had to get eight or ten stitches, I have worn the tape ever since.

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

It has to be John Hayes again. It was just unbelievable to play with him in one of his last games of professional rugby. It was like his second or third last game and it was my first time playing with him so that was cool.

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

One of the Saracens boys, Billy Vunipola. He is powerful, has a great style and he is quick enough too. He would be one of the better players.

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

I just became a father for the first time, that's interesting enough.

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

Yoghurt, prawns and milk. I eat prawns every day, I'm a divil for them.

20. Best advice you ever got?

I am going to stay very boring with this one - fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Irish Independent

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