Rugby World - - FRONT ROW -

ow old were you when you first played rugby? Four or five, with Bal­lina. My brother is two years older and I went down with him. I also played Gaelic Foot­ball and soc­cer, but rugby was al­ways No 1.

Have you al­ways been a back-row? I played a bit at sec­ond-row at Black­rock Col­lege and cen­tre for Bal­lina, but once I went into the U15s I was a back-row.

No 8 is my favourite po­si­tion. I like six as well but pre­fer No 8. Car­ry­ing, tack­ling, break­down – those are prob­a­bly the three most im­por­tant parts of the game for a back-row and they’re my three favourite parts as well.

Who were your child­hood he­roes? Jamie Heaslip would have been one of my favourite play­ers, and Brian O’Driscoll. Out­side Ire­land, Kieran Read. What Ire­land rep­re­sen­ta­tive hon­ours do you have? I played for Ire­land U18 Schools, then they joined U18 Clubs and Schools to­gether in my sec­ond year. I played Ire­land U20 in my first year out of school and again this year. Who’s been the big­gest in­flu­ence on your ca­reer? My dad, Chris, would be No 1. He used to play for Black­rock but had to give up be­cause of in­juries. He’s very sup­port­ive and of­fers guid­ance.

Also, Peter Smyth, my se­nior coach at Black­rock and then academy man­ager at Le­in­ster. And Noel McNa­mara, who I had for Le­in­ster U18, Ire­land U18 and U20. What are your goals for this sea­son? I’d like to be in­volved with the se­nior team and add to my (pro­vin­cial) caps. There are so many back-rows at Le­in­ster that I want to learn as much as I can off them.

Com­pe­ti­tion within the squad is what you want as it makes you push your­self harder and stan­dards rise across the board.

How have you found se­nior rugby? It is def­i­nitely a step up, speed-wise and phys­i­cally. The more op­por­tu­nity you get to play at that level, the quicker you ad­just.

HAge 20 ( 2 April 1998) Born Sligo Prov­ince

L einst er Countr y Ir eland Po­si­tion Back-row

RW VER­DICTDoris made the se­nior Black­rock team aged 15 and stood out when lead­ing Ire­land U20 in a dis­ap­point­ing Ju­nior World Cup cam­paign in the sum­mer – no won­der Le­in­ster have high hopes for the No 8, who is study­ing psy­chol­ogy at UCD.

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