The scrum-half has been widely praised for his decision to speak publicly

Leinster’s Nick McCarthy opens up about coming out as gay

Scrum-half Nick McCarthy came out to his Leinster team-mates back in January having first discussed it with coaches Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster in November. Today, the 27-year-old has spoken publicly for the first time, via the province’s website, and social media has been awash with admiration and support.

In the interview he said: “My experience, since coming out has been entirely positive. I have realised that anyone who cares about you, just wants you to be happy. I’m lucky to have grown up in a loving environment. My parents, my sister, grandparents and wider family are totally accepting of me and I’m very thankful for their support.”

McCarthy is the second player for Leinster men who has talked openly about their sexuality. Jack Dunne, the 6ft 7in lock who has signed for Exeter Chiefs next season, came out as bisexual and recently spoke to the Daily Mail about his experiences.

On his decision, McCarthy said: “I came out to my team-mates in January and I was obviously pretty nervous about doing so. But I’m really happy that I did it. I struggled with coming out for a while and it was starting to impact on me and my happiness so it was the right decision.

“It affected me so much that I agonised over my future and contemplated walking away from rugby altogether because I just didn’t think I could come out while playing rugby.

“But, I spoke to Leo (Cullen) and Stuart (Lancaster) last November and the support that I got from them straightaway was unbelievable. They helped and guided me over the months that followed so that I felt more comfortable to come out to the group.

“I suppose because it’s not really ‘a thing’. It’s not common for a male athlete to come out in sport, never mind professional rugby, and it’s probably something that I didn’t want to believe or accept myself either.

“I needed to accept being gay myself before I could address it with others.”

Nick McCarthy praised for speaking publicly

Since the post went public, Twitter has been full of love.

As Wasps player Florence Williams summed up: “Being visible for those who can’t.

“Well done Nick McCarthy on doing something you absolutely didn’t need to do, but by doing it, will impact the lives of many I’m sure.”

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