Saturday 21 September 2019

Kevin O'Byrne: 'I'd love to do some place-kicking but I'm a small bit behind the out-halves'


Munster hooker Kevin O’Byrne is studying for a Masters. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Munster hooker Kevin O’Byrne is studying for a Masters. Photo: SPORTSFILE

1. What's your pre-training routine?

There isn't much to it really. I like to go out on the training pitch early and do some of the basics, get in a bit of passing and throwing. That would be the extent of it, I like to keep it simple.

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

I'd leave that in the capable hands of Conor Oliver, he's a grand DJ, so he'd know what to put on better than I would.

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

I would love to be a physiotherapist if I wasn't on this side of things and actually playing the game.

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

I would bring a knife, fishing rod and hammock. At least I wouldn't go hungry and I'd be comfortable while I ate.

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

Sweets, Darren Sweetnam, definitely. It would be pretty funny to see him try to survive out there in the elements.

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

I'm not on Instagram so I don't need to worry about that side of things.

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

I am currently studying an MSC in Applied Sports Science and I like to surf, the opposite ends of the spectrum.

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

I remember when I was dropped to soccer training for the first time and running away screaming: "I don't want to be here." I didn't really want to be there.

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

I would love to re-live the game against Leicester Tigers in Welford Road from last year. That was a great day and we eventually beat them 25-16 in a really hard-fought game. I started that one and got to play 57 minutes too, so that was a huge added bonus.

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

I'd love to be able to do place-kicking, I'm a bit behind the out-halves at the moment.

11. Favourite song lyric?

"Go write your message on the pavement, burn so bright I wonder what the wave meant." That's from the song Can't Stop by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, great band and great song.

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

Codie Taylor from the All Blacks. He's the complete player really.

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

Axel. He gave me my first contract here at Munster and the opportunity with that. He guided me through the start of my career and I will never forget that. I couldn't have got here without him.

14. What was your first car?

A 1995 Mini Cooper.

15. What sporting event makes your bucket list?

The Winter X Games would be cool, they usually take place at the end of January, and they're something different to the norm.

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

Keep calm, keep the head down and mind the ball. Just play it like you normally would and avoid any silly errors, and then when the chance eventually comes you have to take it. Saying all that, it's a lot easier said than done!

17. What was the last concert you went to?

Mumford and Sons. Great concert.

18. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I have two dogs, they're English and French Bulldogs.

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

My first European Cup game against Racing 92 in Thomond Park. Those are the days you never forget. I certainly won't. Thomond Park is such a great place to play but especially when it comes to the massive European games. The atmosphere was unreal for that game too.

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

Munster, Munster and Ireland of course.

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