Find out more about talented Leinster back Jack Kelly


Date of birth 26 October 1997 Country Ireland

How did you get into rugby?

My dad and my uncles are mad into rugby, so it was always something I was going to get into. I started when I was five.

What position did you play?

Centre was my preferred position all the way up and then in my last year at school (St Michael’s College) I got moved to full-back.

What do you prefer?

I’ve grown to like full-back – I didn’t like it at the start! I like different aspects of both positions. At full-back you’re quite far from the action while at centre you’re more involved. But you get more space to run and express yourself with the ball at full-back.

What are your strengths?

I love running with the ball and attacking, and I like any of the contact elements of the game. I’m working on my catching and kicking – the more specific roles of full-back.

When did you get involved with Leinster?

U17s. Then I was with the U18s, U19s and now the academy. I’m often involved with Leinster A and we do opposition sessions against the seniors sometimes.

How do you balance rugby with your studies?

I’m in my first year of studying law at Trinity and the college do help me out. When it’s something like the Six Nations, I’m essentially out of college for six or seven weeks and I have friends who help me with notes on stuff I miss. I do my best to catch up with work by myself and I’ve managed so far.

RW Verdict: Named Ireland U20 captain for the Six Nations, Kelly’s campaign was disrupted by injury. Still, he has a mentor at Leinster in Isa Nacewa, who is “good at everything” and can offer advice on leading from 15.

This article first appeared in the May 2017 issue of Rugby World. For the latest subscription offers, click here.