This age-grade international is highly rated in Irish rugby circles
Ulster and Ireland U20 centre Stewart Moore
When did you first play rugby?
I was about six years old at Ballymoney minis. My dad was a big rugby player and brought me through the minis, but I then quit to play football. I just preferred it and I’d always watched football growing up.
At secondary school, Dalriada, I picked up rugby again because my friends were playing. From there I was brought into the Ulster U16 set-up and moved to Ballymena Academy when I was 17 because it was more of a rugby school.
Who were your childhood heroes?
Cristiano Ronaldo, even though I’m a Spurs fan. Rugby-wise, Quade Cooper.
What positions have you played?
I started on the wing, then moved to 13, ten and 15, but for the last couple of years I’ve played 12 or 13. I like playing centre, and I’d say my footwork and my decision-making are strengths.
What about Ireland honours?
I played U18 Schools and U19. I missed this year’s U20 Six Nations, when Ireland won a Grand Slam, with injury, so my goal was to make the Junior World Cup squad, which I did. It was short and sweet, though. I scored a try against Australia, then a few minutes later dislocated my shoulder, which meant I needed surgery.
How do you find dealing with injuries?
It’s hard but I’ve learnt to get through it while I’m young. Once you can see you’re making progress, it helps.
What are your goals for this season?
I hope to play a few games for Malone before Christmas once I’m back from injury. When it comes to the Six Nations period, I’d like to be training with the Ulster seniors and take it from there. Last season I was in and out with the U20s, so this year I’ll focus on Ulster and getting the body right. Hopefully I’ll get a run of games.
What do you do outside rugby?
I’m studying biology at Belfast Met College – it’s something I enjoyed at school.
RW VERDICT: Injuries have disrupted Moore’s progress but the centre’s potential is obvious from his stunning try against Australia at the U20 World Cup, a score that went viral. If he can get fit and stay fit, he should be in the midfield mix at Ulster.
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This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Rugby World magazine.
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