Facts and figures about the Leinster and Ireland full-back

Who is Hugo Keenan: Ten things you should know about the Ireland back

Hugo Keenan had an unconventional rise to professional rugby, before making his debut for Leinster’s first team at the age of 20. Now though, there is a sense of anticipation over the full-back’s future after impressive performances for Ireland.

Below, we delve a little deeper into some facts about Keenan and his rise to the Ireland startung line-up.

Ten things you should know about Hugo Keenan

1. Born in Dublin in 1996, Keenan stands at 6 ft 1in (185cm) tall and weighs 14 st 5 lbs (92kg).

2. Between 2017 and 2019, the full-back played 12 times for Ireland’s national rugby sevens team at fly-half, before making the permanent switch to 15s.

3. Playing as a winger for Ireland’s u20, Keenan started every match in the 2016 World Rugby u20 Championship. Historically, Ireland beat New Zealand 33-24 in the quarter-finals. Falling at the last hurdle in the final, England beat them to the title.

4. Unbelievably, Keenan was unable to make Blackrock College’s U14 A team, or B team… or C team. A team sheet from his time at the college showed Keenan on the bench of the C team, called up as captain of the D team.

When was Keenan’s debut for Ireland?

5. Keenan’s debut for Ireland’s national rugby union team came in the rearranged 2020 Six Nations fixture with Italy, in October 2020. Starting on the wing, Hugo scored two tries in a 50-17 win.

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A post shared by Hugo Keenan (@hugokeenan96)

6. Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Unwritten’ was Keenan’s song of choice for his first Ireland cap. He claimed that it “went down well, in fairness.”

7. Impressively, the full-back’s Bronco PB is four minutes and 11 seconds. Even more impressively, however, is that he beat All Blacks star Beauden Barrett’s pace of four minutes 12 seconds. Barrett, famed for his blistering pace, was unable to beat Keenan’s time over the gruelling fitness test, which includes a 20 metres sprint and back, 40 metres and back, 60 metres and back; five times through.

8. His debut for club side Leinster came in November 2016 against Zebre, while his first try came in 2018 against the Dragons.

9. Chelsea supporting Keenan is an avid football fan, giving the sport up before turning to rugby because he wasn’t good enough.

10. Keenan is the nephew of Keith Dignam, FAI Cup winner with University College Dublin Football Club in 1984 who played in the Cup Winners’ Cup against Everton the next season.

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