'I know I'm very lucky to have Ellen in my corner' - Garry Ringrose
He has the support of the nation behind him when he togs out for Ireland, but for rugby star Garry Ringrose it is the support of girlfriend Ellen Beirne that means the most.
The Leinster centre (24) told the Irish Independent that he is "incredibly lucky" to have Ellen on the sideline cheering for him.
"She is the best and she is incredibly supportive and her, along with my parents and brothers and sisters, in the not-so-good times when you might lose a game, they are ones picking you up," he said. "I am incredibly lucky to have her in my corner in the not-so-great times. It's even better having them on the great days because they have been through it all on that same journey with you. Thankfully I have her with me, she is a huge support."
Ellen is studying for her master's degree in Dietetics in UCD, where Garry is also taking a Business and Law degree. While rugby is his passion, he admitted he is glad to have another string to his bow.
"You can be the best player in the world and get injured tomorrow, that's the nature of the game," he said.
Meanwhile, the Dubliner is taking it day by day with the hamstring strain he sustained in the first match of Ireland's Six Nations campaign. While he is "OK" if the injury keeps him out of selection for Ireland's next clash with Italy, he insists he is focused on getting the injury ironed out.
"It was a minor strain in the hamstring and it's not something I want to get worse so it's just about getting back and rehabbing for the last week and the next week or two," he said. He said it was too soon to tell if he would be back in action in Rome on February 24.
"It's kind of hard to say right now, I'm judging it day by day. That's what I am aiming for but if it is beyond that, I am OK with that.
"It is just about trying to get back and get right and put my hand up again for selection."
He is also remaining optimistic that Ireland can still win the championship despite a loss to England.
"I'd still be optimistic I think. There are teams who have won it in the past that lost a game. Most times it is incredibly difficult to get a Grand Slam.
"It will be tough, it's a huge challenge but that kind of motivates you to try and achieve it because it's not that easy when the odds are stacked against you."
Garry has stepped up to the mark himself in taking on the number 13 jersey previously worn by one of Ireland's greatest players, Brian O'Driscoll. Speaking at the launch of the new Gillette Skinguard Sensitive yesterday, he said he tries to stop the pressure getting to him by focusing on the elements he can control.
"There is so much that is out of your control, whether it is selection, competition, injury, all these things that cause the most amount of pressure but ultimately aren't in your control.
"What I do is focus on what is in my control: how hard I work each day and each week, and be in the best position possible for an opportunity I am given," he said.