For this week’s player profile, we caught up with flanker Shane Young, who captained Dublin University to their second ‘Colours’ win in three years recently with a dramatic 20-18 success over UCD at Donnybrook. Young’s charges are currently lying in tenth position in the AIB League Division Two standings.
IrishRugby.ie: When and where were you born and when did you start playing rugby?
Shane Young: I was born in Galway in 1985. I lived in Leenane up until the age of 12 when I went to the Kings Hospital boarding school in Dublin and that was where I started my rugby career.
IR: Favourite position?
SY: My favourite position would be out-half, although I’m stuck in the forwards as an openside!
IR: Favourite pre-match meal?
SY: Being a poor student it would have to be pasta, nice and cheap, with a bit of flavouring.
IR: Favourite pre-match music?
SY: Not much of a music man, but if I was to listen to some it would probably be ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey.
IR: Any superstitions?
SY: No superstitions, more of a believer in hard work.
IR: If you could change any rugby laws?
SY: That ‘injured’ players would be taken off the pitch instead of being allowed to slow the game down. It is incredibly frustrating when the game is stopped every five minutes and then the player miraculously recovers.
IR: And what about the ELVs?
SY: I would get rid of the ELVs. Everyone kicks the ball too much nowadays, it is almost better to be defending.
IR: Best moment(s) playing rugby?
SY: Would have to be the two Colours victories over UCD which I have been lucky enough to have been a part of. A close second would be beating Leinster at Donnybrook with the Connacht Under-21s.
IR: Captaining the team – does it come naturally to you or do you have to work on it?
SY: Yeah, I feel captaining comes naturally to me. To be honest the lads we have here in Trinity make it quite easy and I am just loving every minute of it.
IR: Best player you’ve played with in your career to date?
SY: Probably the best player I’ve played with is Victor Vito who is playing for the New Zealand Sevens side now. I played with him on my year out in New Zealand.
IR: Best player you’ve played against?
SY: I remember one of my first training sessions in Trinity when fresh out of school, I was told to try and tackle Jamie Heaslip. Needless to say I didn’t get near him.
IR: Dream back row – who would you play alongside?
SY: I’m happy with my present one, they’re all good friends and that makes it more enjoyable. If I had to pick, I would say Richie McCaw and George Smith.
IR: Biggest influence(s) on your rugby career?
SY: Brendan Breen and Nathan Dodd, two Kiwis who gave me my first taste of rugby as a young Gaelic footballer in the west of Ireland.
IR: Thoughts on Tony Smeeth, the Dublin University director of rugby?
SY: Tony puts in a phenomenal amount of work in Trinity, coaching three teams and organising everything. I don’t know how the club would function without him.
IR: Aspirations for the season?
SY: Halfway there having won the Colours already, but to be in the mix at the end of the season to go up to AIB League Division One would be great.
IR: Aspirations for the rest of your rugby career?
SY: To enjoy it and to get as much out of the game as I possibly can. Maybe one day to wear the green of Connacht once more, I played Under-21s there and it would be be great to get a senior cap.