Comfortable at 15 or on the wing, he is eligible for England, Italy and Australia

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Harlequins full-back Louis Lynagh

Date of birth 3 December 2000 Born Treviso, Italy Position Full-back Club Harlequins Country England

Where did you start playing? 

Richmond on Sundays, aged four. My mum’s Italian and I was born in Treviso but we moved over here when I was four.

My dad (Michael Lynagh) tells a funny story about getting a call from Jason Leonard after my first session because me and his son had got in a fight at training!

Did you play other sports? 

Tennis, football, cricket, athletics, swimming… Rugby I was a bit better at than others.

Have you always been a back? 

I mainly play back three. Full-back is my main position but I’m comfortable at wing too.

What are your strengths? 

High-ball catching, getting my hands on the ball, running – I’m quite quick.

When did you link up with Harlequins? 

At 13. At the start we’d train once every month, then with the EPDG we’d train every Monday night and there would be camps in half-terms. Last season was my first year full-time.

What about international honours? 

I’ve played England U16, U18 and U19.

And do you hope to play for England at Test level?

I have three options – Italy, Australia and England. If I get chosen for international rugby for any team that would be the pinnacle of my career. International rugby is the best you can get, other than the Lions.

Right now I’m in England, my family and friends are here, but we’ll see where my career leads. If I get the chance for England, Australia or Italy, I’ll take it. It’s what I’m aiming for, but first it’s about getting in the Harlequins first team and playing regularly. I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

Any childhood heroes? 

I wouldn’t say heroes but people I look up to, take bits from their game and put them in mine. Ben Smith is one of the best full-backs – not because he does anything flashy but because he does everything really well.

Mike Brown is my mentor at Quins and I’ve looked up to him for a long time. Within a year of him being my mentor, my game has reached another level because of what he’s told me.

The biggest influence on your career? 

Probably my dad. He’s watched me play growing up and gives advice. He’s done everything you can do in rugby, both winning and decision-making, what to do in your career trajectory, so it’s pretty handy having him in my corner.

What do you do away from rugby? 

Right now I’m focused more on my rugby but I’m definitely looking to study. This is the last year of my contract so once my future is set out and I know what I’m doing, I’ll look at uni. There’s a course at LSE, economic history, that looks really interesting.

RW Verdict: Lynagh made his Premiership debut against Leicester at the end of last season and is looking for more game time in 2020-21. His next contract – whether at Quins or elsewhere – may determine where his Test future lies.

This article originally appeared in the January 2021 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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