Sport Rugby

Saturday 16 February 2019

Where are they now?

Gary Brown
Gary Brown

Gary Brown (Former Leinster rugby player)

When Gary Brown was first introduced to rugby as a kid, he didn't like it all. In fact, he didn't like any of the sports he tried. He just loved to run around. And by the time he entered Blackrock College as a schoolboy that hadn't changed much.

He tried out rugby again in first year but still wasn't keen so he took up basketball. Brown spent his early days in the famous south Dublin school just playing that sport but when he was 14 he decided to give rugby a third go.

Because he was a good runner, Brown was a perfect fit for the wing and the more time he spent playing the more he enjoyed it. The fact that rugby is such an integral part of school life made playing it more appealing.

"When I went out playing I made a bunch of friends who are still my friends now," explains Brown. "In Blackrock, there is a huge volume of people playing the game. We started winning pretty quickly and that made it even more enjoyable."

So Brown stuck with the game and by the time he left Blackrock College he had won a Senior Cup medal and was in the Irish Schools team. He enrolled in UCD to study Computer Science and Economics and was selected for the Irish academy.

At 21, he got his first Leinster contract. He played with them for almost a decade and finished with a Heineken Cup medal. He also represented Ireland at Sevens and feels that it's something Ireland could be very successful at.

"I think it is one of the biggest disappointments in Irish rugby that there hasn't been a proper Irish set-up that goes on the circuit," he says. "I think being exposed to that level of rugby really develops young players."

After retiring from professional rugby, Brown gave up the game completely and went back to college. He is now a physiotherapist and strength and conditioning coach working out of a gym he co-founded in Sandyford called Origin. Along with this he co-founded Impact Gum Shields. Although Brown's professional life keeps him busy he still has time to support Leinster and is a big fan of the team.

"Watching them is something I love to do and this season I can't imagine them not being in the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup."

Sunday Independent

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