Date of birth 6 May 1995. Country Ireland
When did you start playing rugby?
My dad, John, is a coach at Galwegians and I used to go to training with him every Saturday. He convinced me to join in with the U6s when I was four. I remember being a bit scared, but
I loved it and did it every week.
Have you played in different positions?
I was an out-half until the Ireland Schools U18 coach Noel McNamara advised I move back to centre/wing and I suggested it to Nigel Carolan at Connacht Academy.
Who has had a big influence on you?
Nigel at Connacht, Ambrose Conboy at school and Ian O’Brien, who coached me all the way through the age groups with Galwegians. He was the father of last year’s Ireland U20 captain Sean O’Brien, but sadly he died a couple of years ago.
When did you join Connacht?
I was in the development squad from the U15s and when I left school I joined the sub academy, then the full academy last season. I still play for Galwegians when I can though.
What involvement have you had with Ireland?
I played the FIRA U18 tournament, then Ireland U19, then last year’s U20 World Cup a year young. It is a gruelling tournament, with five games in three weeks.
What are your aims for next season?
I will still be on an academy contract but I would love to progress into the senior squad at Connacht. There could be opportunities with the World Cup happening.
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RW Verdict: His second U20 World Championship didn’t go as well as his first, as Ireland slipped from fourth to seventh. But this wing/full-back has a very bright future, being quick, strong and excellent under the high ball.
First published in the August 2015 edition of Rugby World magazine.