The front-rower is a try-machine and an improving golfer. Kit Shepard reports

Who is Ronan Kelleher: Ten things you should know about the Ireland hooker

Ronan Kelleher is a skilful hooker who has represented Leinster and Ireland.

The front-rower is accurate at the lineout and has an eye for a try.

Ten things you should know about Ronan Kelleher

1. Ronan Kelleher was born on 24 January 1998 in Dublin. He attended St Michael’s College, where his father was principal and his mum a teacher.

2. He began playing rugby aged four and was initially a back, before completing the transition to hooker by 16.

3. With two teachers for parents, Kelleher earned a degree in commerce while balancing his studies with rugby.

4. After success with Leinster A, Kelleher made his senior debut for the province during the 2018-19 season against the Southern Kings.

The following campaign was a breakthrough one, as he made 13 appearances and scored nine tries.

5. He made his Ireland debut in the 2020 Six Nations against Scotland, coming off the bench in a 19-12 win.

6. Kelleher played at Leinster with his elder brother, Cian, for two seasons between 2019 and 2021. They won the then Pro14 (now United Rugby Championship) in both years.

7. Kelleher became the fourth Irishman to score four tries in a game, recording the feat against USA in July 2021.

8. Though not selected by coach Warren Gatland, Kelleher was added to the British & Irish Lions training camp ahead of the 2021 South Africa tour.

He was subsequently called up ahead for the first Test but did not feature in the series.

Kelleher instead used the tour to learn from captain Alun Wyn Jones and hookers Ken Owens, Jamie George and Luke Cowan-Dickie.

“I learnt so much from them,” he told Rugby World. “I wasn’t ever going to play but I felt like I belonged.”

9. His first Lions tour was not all smooth sailing, though. Kelleher was subject to ridicule on a team golf day, as his first drive travelled ten metres.

“Without doubt the most frightening thing I have ever done,” Kelleher recalled, though he has since become a more regular golfer.

10. He started throughout Ireland’s 2021 Autumn Nations Series and scored a try in the memorable 29-20 victory over New Zealand.

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