Why did you join?
Since I was young, deep down I always had an innate want to play sports, what I lacked was the confidence to start. Growing up in rural Ireland, school was hard, while I wasn’t “out”, I was a bit effeminate which unfortunately made me a target. So growing up, a sports team always felt like a place I wouldn’t fit in. When I joined the Warriors in 2017 I wanted to join a team, where I would be accepted 100% for myself and where my only focus was on how to be the best player I can be.
What does being a Warrior mean to you?
Persistence! When I started playing there were so many times I wanted to throw in the towel as I thought I was never going to get the hang of the game but I kept pushing myself and refused to give up. Being a Warrior to me is that inner strength and persistence you get to not give up when things get hard and to always give it your all whether it’s on the field, at training or in your everyday life.
What have you learned/gained since joining the Warriors?
So much! How to play rugby, how to muster that extra energy during a game when you’re exhausted, how to trust your instincts in the game and for me especially how to keep a cool head!
The biggest learning however was how much I love passing on what I learned to new players, who like me never played rugby before. Helping a new guy with his tackling and then seeing him put a great tackle in during a game is an incredible feeling.
What has been your favourite moment/memory of being a Warrior?
This has to be the opening game of Union Cup 2019 with the Warriors’ III team, it was the first game I played with the Warriors in which we won. What made that win extra special was that I was captain of the team and on top of that my parents were there to watch it (it was actually my Mom’s first time watching me play) so it was a very fulfilling moment for someone who two years before that never played rugby.
Any advice for aspiring Warriors?
Firstly join, don’t let fear or nerves hold you back! When you do join, don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t pick it up straight away, you’ll get there. All the highs of winning matches, being captain, getting called out for a great game mean more when you go through the journey which starts at picking up a ball at your first training session. And if you have self doubts talk to one of us because we all have them. We’re a team, both on and off the field!