'No regrets' for ex-Munster out-half Deasy as he targets another AIL title
Lansdowne playmaker walked away from the professional game and is happy with his lot
By the time Scott Deasy made his Munster debut when he replaced Ronan O'Gara against Connacht in December 2009, there was already a fair amount of excitement around a player who many believed was the heir to his fellow Cork out-half's throne.
It never quite worked out like that however, and while Deasy did go on to make 37 appearances over four years for Munster, when he was released five years ago he decided to walk away from his dream.
Coming out of school in PBC, Deasy's reputation was such that the cause for excitement was genuine.
The likes of Peter O'Mahony, Conor Murray and Simon Zebo were part of a new wave of talented youngsters emerging from the province, and Deasy was central to that group.
Offers to remain in the pro game were not in short supply, but the Cork native felt it was time for a change, and he moved to Dublin to take up a job with Accenture.
Lansdowne didn't hesitate in snapping up Deasy but as head coach Mike Ruddock recalls, the transition from professional rugby wasn't that seamless.
"He's been fantastic for us since he's signed but having said that, I'm sure he'll tell you himself, but the first season in the club and stepping down a level and perhaps moving away from the professional game and that transition, I think he found that, not difficult, but it was a genuine transition.
"He was going into the workplace, he was studying for a masters, there was a lot going on.
"I don't know if immediately he grasped the belonging to the tough game, if that makes sense?
"Since then, he has really immersed himself in the club. He has become a genuine leader and a fantastic player for us.
"I think he could quite easily be back in the pro game. He's certainly playing better now than when he first arrived to us.
"That doesn't mean that he was not a better player in Munster, but I think the transitional aspect, getting his head around that, perhaps meant he wasn't quite as focused as he is now on the club game and us in particular."
Deasy doesn't look back on his decision with any regret. Rugby had consumed him for so long, but life goes on.
The 29-year-old is getting married to his long-term girlfriend Julie next month, and the couple also recently became parents for the first time to a son, Peter.
"As you've seen in the last four or five years the game evolves so quickly that what's being played professionally is totally unrecognisable from what I played," Deasy maintains.
"I have very fond memories of my time there (Munster) but I've no regrets about when I finished. I'm happy enough where I am.
"I suppose that was probably more my issue in terms of my desire to play.
"I was kind of in a weird enough head-space. It took five or six months to get into the groove, but I got there in the end.
"I think I've been quite consistent for the last few years. I have a young family now and I'm working away, so I've probably a better balance in my life now.
"I don't really get too much time to think about rugby. I just go out and play and enjoy it."
In his five years with Lansdowne, Deasy has been a model of consistency and has long been one of the stand-out performers in the AIL.
He has already become the club's all-time top AIL points scorer, and he is crucial to his side's hopes of winning a third title when they take on his former team Cork Con in tomorrow's (3.0) final at the Aviva.
The last time Lansdowne were crowned champions in 2015, Deasy recovered from throwing an intercepted pass that led to a try, as he helped steer the Dublin club to victory.
"I think the club game is massively important to Irish rugby," he insists.
"I'm quite interested in history and I think the tradition of the likes of Cork Con and Lansdowne, and some of the other big clubs, is very interesting.
"I'd like to contribute to that and keep myself up to date on what the histories and traditions are.
"But I think it is quite difficult when you're so focused on being a professional and that's taken away from you, to balance that with your own personal enjoyment.
"Will you get the same personal fulfilment out of just playing amateur-wise? That's probably the other explanation as to why it took me five or six months to get used to it. But I'm now delighted I kept it up. I'm really, really enjoying my rugby at the moment."
The days of playing with Munster may now be a distant memory but Deasy is thriving in his new lease of life, and Lansdowne are also reaping the rewards.