You were born in Barcelona. Is your family Irish?
Yes. In the late 1980s my parents moved to Spain and my sister and I were born there, but we came back when I was nine.
Was that when you first played rugby?
I didn’t know what it was until I went to Blackrock College, but I got into it really quickly. I can play all across the back row but primarily I’m a No 7.
Who are your mentors?
At school, my coach Frank Macken was a big help. I moved up the ranks with him and I still see him a lot. It was great to learn from Mike Ruddock with Ireland U20 too.
How would you describe your playing style?
I love making tackles and steals and linking with the backs. I definitely consider myself a mobile back-row and a bit of a pain for the other team.
What is your next aim?
I’d love to play in the Heineken Cup. I’ve been in the Leinster squad twice but not got on yet.
What interests do you have outside rugby?
I’m studying for a degree in business and entrepreneurship.
RW Verdict: This Ireland age-group international, now 21, is starting to make his mark in distinguished company at Leinster.
This was published in the January 2013 issue of Rugby World. Click here to see what’s in the current edition.