Monday 15 July 2019

'It's not a Samoan step that I have, it's more of a Stockport sidestep'

Take 20: Ciaran Parker

Ciaran Parker started walking at 10 months of age but couldn’t talk until he was four. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Ciaran Parker started walking at 10 months of age but couldn’t talk until he was four. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

1. What's your pre-training routine?

It's different for every day but I always get strapped up and do my stretches to start. As a prop, you do some neck and shoulder activation work with bands. Playing in my position, your neck is your money-maker.

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

'Supersonic' by Oasis.

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

I'm doing a Diploma in Financial Planning. I would do something along the lines of a financial advisor. I started studying that in England and I am continuing it on online here.

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

Firelighters, mobile phone and a decent book collection.

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

I'd have to bring Jeremy Loughman because we are both as hungry as each other, we would be as motivated to go hunt. He follows his nose and belly.

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

My favourite Instagram page is The Body Coach. It gives me tips on how to diet.

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

I try and do a bit of study and reading; other than that I go day to day. On my off days I try and get as much recovery in as I can.

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

As a player, it was when we won a game 84-0 and I scored five tries. As a spectator, I went to see Sale against Bath in a European game in 2008. The ground was close to the house and that's where I went to watch my local rugby.

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

My European debut for Sale against Munster; for a 19-year-old it was some atmosphere. Ironically, I am in the other changing room now.

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

A step, it's not a Samoan step that I have, it's more of a Stockport sidestep at the moment.

11. Favourite song lyric?

'Don't look back in anger' by Oasis.

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

I would say Owen Franks from New Zealand. He has got good discipline and he has over 100 Test caps for the All Blacks, so it would have to be him.

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

It was probably one of my first coaches when I was younger. He was called Alan Toon. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us. He was massively big into promoting rugby culture. He got me interested in rugby first time starting out. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have been able to get what the rugby atmosphere was like.

14. What was your first car?

A 2008 Vauxhall Corsa, I only just got rid of it. It took me everywhere and never failed but it was about time I got rid.

15. What sporting event makes your bucket list?

I would like to go to a Wimbledon final.

16. One minute to go in the Champions Cup final, you're three points down and you have a penalty in front of the posts… what do you do?

Try our best to get a penalty to get up the pitch, and from there we would have trained for a scenario to score.

17. What was the last concert you went to?

Ed Sheeran in the summer back in Manchester.

18. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

My parents said I couldn't speak until I was about four. I could walk when I was about ten months but I couldn't actually talk until I went to school. I think you normally should start speaking when you are 13 or 14 months.

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

I came on against Edinburgh in the PRO14 quarter-final last year. I ended up playing 65 minutes and it was unexpected, but it was one of the best games of rugby I have had.

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

Munster, Munster and Ireland.

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