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Player Profile: Garryowen’s Paul Neville

Player Profile: Garryowen’s Paul Neville

IrishRugby.ie scrummed down for a player profile session with Garryowen back rower and captain Paul Neville, who famously skippered the Limerick club to a senior treble (AIB League, AIB Cup and Munster Senior Cup) in the 2006/07 season.

IrishRugby.ie: When and where were you born and where did you start playing rugby?

Paul Neville: I was born in Limerick in 1979, started playing with Old Crescent in their underage set-up and then in school with Ardscoil Ris in Limerick.

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IR: Favourite position?

PN: Number 8.

IR: Favourite pre-match meal?

PN: Poached eggs and toast.

IR: Favourite pre-match music?

PN: Anything to chill out. The Killers, X Factor hopefuls!

IR: Any superstitions?

PN: No, not really. I hate small dressing rooms though and sitting beside Lav (Declan Lavery).

IR: What is the club song and do you have a ‘party piece’?

PN: ‘Hurray for Garryowen’ is the club song. Party piece – no!

IR: If you could change a rugby law?

PN: I would get rid of the ‘mark’ in the 22.

IR: ELVs – would you keep them or get rid of them?

PN: Keep, but bring in the free kick.

IR: Favourite memory playing for Garryowen?

PN: Winning the AIB League, AIB Cup and Munster Senior Cup in 2007.

IR: Most embarrassing rugby-related moment?

PN: Encouraging my team-mates in a school match (Ardscoil Ris v Crescent Comp) by saying ‘come on Crescent’ when playing for Ardscoil! I was playing club rugby in Old Crescent at the time.

IR: Captaining the team – does it come naturally to you or do you have to work on it?

PN: Bit of both really. I’m always learning but I draw on past experiences to help.

IR: Best player you’ve played with in your career to date?

PN: Keith Earls.

IR: Best player you’ve played against?

PN: Tim Allnutt – unbelievable side step!

IR: Dream back row – who would you play alongside?

PN: Zinzan Brooke, Olivier Magne and me – nice ring to it.

IR: Biggest influence(s) on your rugby career?

PN: My fiancee and family.

IR: You’ve had a difficult start to the season but how vital was last Saturday’s win at Old Belvedere and can you turn things around, particularly before the Christmas break?

PN: Absolutely. It’s a much different league this season, it’s very tight. The Belvedere win was great. We’ve a huge match against Cork Constitution this weekend and that will tell a lot.

IR: Aspirations for Garryowen this season?

PN: Top four play-off spot in the league and to go on and win it out.

IR: Aspirations for the rest of your rugby career?

PN: To stay injury free.