Date of birth: 25 March, 1995. Country: Ireland

When did you start playing rugby?
When I was about six, at Old Belvedere and St Michael’s College.

Have you played different positions?
I was a scrum-half from the start. My dad, Conor, was a scrum-half with Connacht way back  when and he was always passing the ball to me in the garden.

Who do you model your game on?
I look up to Eoin Reddan. I’m similar in body size to him and he has great skills. I’m constantly working on my skills, with a big focus on kicking.

When did you link up with Leinster?
I was involved in the U16s for training one summer, then the U18s, and I joined the sub-academy last year and the full academy this season.

When did you first play for Ireland?
For the U18s in 2013.

How do you feel about captaining Ireland U20?
It’s a massive honour, a challenge and a responsibility.

Is most of your rugby with Leinster or University College Dublin?
It’s mostly for UCD but I get pulled out to play for Leinster A.

What are your interests outside rugby?
I am studying engineering at UCD. I have split my degree up to do fewer modules each year, but it’s still hard work to get it all done.

What are your hopes for the World Championship in June?
We got to the semi-final last year for the first time so that’s a good place to start from and we have about eight lads back from last year’s squad.

 

RW verdict: With a dad who played provincial rugby and a sister, Lisa, who is on a hockey scholarship in the USA having played for Ireland’s age grades, McCarthy has great sporting genes and the attitude to make the most of them.