Tuesday 20 August 2019

Take 20: 'When I won my first cap for Ireland, it was a dream come true for me'

Darren Sweetnam

Darren Sweetnam on the attack against Saracens in the recent Champions Cup semi-final in Coventry. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Darren Sweetnam on the attack against Saracens in the recent Champions Cup semi-final in Coventry. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

1. What's your pre-training routine? A. I wouldn't have any pre-training routine in particular but I definitely like to get out on the pitch about 10 minutes early.

When I'm there I go through my own warm up and practise some kicks so I'm ready to go when the session actually starts.

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

Anything by Calvin Harris. He's really good and I am into that sort of music.

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

I would love to be an airline pilot. I have already done a good few lessons and I'm working alongside Arno Botha who already has his South African Private Plane's Licence. Conor Oliver is starting soon too.

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

A hammock, a fishing rod and lots of chocolate. I'd be comfortable then anyway.

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

OB, or Kevin O'Byrne as he is also known. He was born in the wilderness.

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

National Geographic. Their page has some really cool pictures and very interesting stories. I would advise anyone to give them a follow if you don't already do it.

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

I like to play golf. I started recently enough and when I am not playing with the lads I've started to go around with my girlfriend. It's a relaxing sport and takes my mind off the day job.

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

Going to see Munster play in the old Irish Independent Park, or Musgrave Park as it was known back then, with my dad.

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

It would have to be when I won my first cap for Ireland, it was a dream come true for me and a day I will never forget. It was a long time coming and something I always wanted to do growing up.

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

Place-kicking, it would add a lot of value to my contract. I practise most days in training but I'm not up to the standard of the out-halves here yet.

11. Favourite song lyric?

Calvin Harris again, something from one of his songs. They are all upbeat dance tunes but there are lyrics in there too.

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

Munster, Ireland and Lions winger Keith Earls. That man has been around for years and is only getting better. It's amazing and I don't know how he does it.

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

Axel, he taught me to play with confidence, freedom and not to be afraid to try things. He also gave me my first cap. I will never forget that.

14. What was your first car?

A 1999 Toyota Yaris. It wasn't the most glamorous car but got me from A to B.

15. What sporting event makes your bucket list?

Wimbledon final. I would have paid a lot of money to have been at the 2008 final between Federer and Nadal.

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?

I get the ball from 10, step the two centres, round the wing, chip the full-back and score under the posts... in an ideal world.

17. What was the last concert you went to?

Eminem in Slane back in 2013. I don't get out much.

18. Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I wrote off my parents' car at the age of five...

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

Beating the Maori All Blacks in Thomond Park and topping if it off with a try.

20. Who will win the 2019 Guinness PRO14 and the Rugby World Cup?

That's a silly question, do I really need to answer that??

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