Thursday 20 June 2019

Take 20: 'He told me when to keep my mouth shut - but I didn't always succeed'


Niall Scannell in action during a Munster squad training session at the University of Limerick during the week. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Niall Scannell in action during a Munster squad training session at the University of Limerick during the week. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Niall Scannell

1. What's your pre-training routine?

It's boring enough and I stick to the same thing most days. I just get myself strapped up, get through my stretching and get out there. I usually try to get out early to get my eye in with my throwing before the session starts.

Please log in or register with for free access to this article.

Log In

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

I love 'Belter' by Gerry Cinnamon. It's a great tune and always one for everyone to sing along with.

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

Hopefully, it's years before I have to contemplate that, but I fancy myself as a bit of a barista.

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

Chris Farrell so I can argue with him, an encyclopaedia to prove he is wrong, as he usually is, and matches to get a fire started. We can use the encyclopaedia for kindling and cook Chris for food!

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

Chris Farrell has to be the man.

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

I'm a boxing fan so I like to watch what Tyson Fury has to say. He's great entertainment, obviously a hard worker and he gives some good insights into life as a professional boxer. It looks like a tough game.

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

I love sparking up a nice long, slow cook on the barbecue. Preferably I'd go for a beef brisket. Otherwise, a game of golf is always high on my list of priorities, although it often causes more stress than the rugby though.

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

My first sporting memory is playing Street Leagues in Douglas GAA. I remember the finals and that we had a parade through Douglas and the whole family came to watch. It felt like All-Ireland final day and was very special.

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

If I can't change it, I try not to worry about it. What's the point?

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

Offloading would be a handy skill to master.

11. Favourite song lyric?

"I'm an ordinary man, nothing special, nothing grand," from the Christy Moore song 'Ordinary Man'. I've always found it humbling and also a very clear and concise description of Billy Holland's playing style.

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

Schalk Brits. The level he is performing at after so many years is hugely impressive, as well as how exciting his playing style is. 

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

Paul Barr. He was my coach in PBC from a young age. I felt he gave me great understanding of the game and also he gave me some vital tips off the pitch... he told me when to keep my mouth shut. I didn't always succeed but he tried!

14. What was your first car?

A Ford Focus.

15. What sporting event makes your bucket list?

There's so many events I'd love to go to, but the F1 Grand Prix in Monaco was one that always intrigued me.

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

Stay out of the way and hope somebody fast and in red gets their hands on the ball.

17. What was the last concert you went to?

I saw Drake in the 3 Arena. I surprised myself at how many songs I knew. 

18. Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I'll keep that one to myself...

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

Beating Toulon in Thomond Park in the Champions Cup quarter-final last year was a big one for me. They're a cracking side and getting into the last four of the Champions Cup is always a big deal.

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

Other than the Champions Cup, which Saracens now hold, the other two answers are above my pay grade.

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: Dublin hurlers come of age, who will stand up for Offaly and Anthony Cunningham's unique record

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport