Get to know Diarmuid Barron, who has been inspired by former Ireland back-row Denis Leamy

Munster and Ireland U20 hooker Diarmuid Barron

Date of birth 6 August 1998 Born Cork Province Munster Country Ireland Position Hooker

How did you get into rugby?

Both my older cousins were playing for Cashel in Tipperary, so I went along when I was younger to watch them and started playing. I’d have been five and I loved it from the start.

Have you always played hooker?

I would have played in the back row when I was younger but I’ve been a hooker for the last four or five years.

What are your strengths?

I get through a lot of work – tackling, carrying and so on. And my throwing. That didn’t come quickly; I’ve had to do a lot of work on it.

When did you link up with Munster?

I was in the U17 development squad at 16, then the U18 Schools team at 17 and now I’m in the academy.

Who’s been the biggest influence on your career?

My parents first of all, then Denis Leamy. He’s from the same town as me and worked with me at Rockwell College and the Garryowen senior team. He played for Ireland but you realise he’s human and it shows you what’s possible.

What Ireland representative honours do you have?

I was in the U18s second team and then made the U19s and played in the Junior World Cup a year under age. Then this year I played in the Six Nations and Junior World Cup again.

How was it working with Paul O’Connell with the U20s?

Brilliant – he’s another big influence. Learning off him was pretty surreal at the start but, like Denis, he has so much to offer.

Who were your childhood heroes?

Coming from where I do, probably GAA players. Rugby-wise, Ronan O’Gara, Paul O’Connell and Denis Leamy. I would always watch Munster and it really started for me in 2006-08 when they won in Europe.

What are your goals this season?

I’d like to try to cement my position in the Munster A team and maybe get a senior cap or two. I’ll play for Garryowen again this year as well and an AIL title with them would be great.

RW VERDICT: Barron is studying business at the University of Limerick alongside his rugby. He has great and experienced mentors, and is now focusing on senior rugby with Munster as well as his club Garryowen in AIL Division 1A.

This article originally appeared in the October 2018 edition of Rugby World.

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