One of the main reasons I do this job is for the unforgettable experiences. We are in a privileged position to witness exciting sporting events unfold behind the scenes, and although this can often be very stressful, there’s a reason you come back for more.
These experiences help to make up for the long unsociable hours we work, and the time spent away from our family and friends, missing many ‘normal’ life events. However when I look back at some of the highlights – from being in the dressing room at the Emirates after witnessing an amazing match against Barca with the likes of van Persie, Fabregas, and Messi in attendance; or being on the floor with Rhys McClenaghan when he took his Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 at the Gold Coast; to my most recent exploits in New Zealand, when we beat the All Blacks at home for the very first time; these are memories I can relish for ever.
The results don’t always go your way of course and you never get used to that feeling of losing. Going out in the semis of the United Rugby Championship to the Stormers in South Africa with Ulster Rugby this season, was a tough one to swallow, especially with a home final lined up.
But it’s the winning that you remember more. So, one final push – if we can add one more win to the list tonight: – by being the third team ever to take a series win against the All Blacks on home turf, that would be what dreams are made of. There’s every confidence here that we can do it and believe me, the whole team has worked tirelessly to put us in the best place possible. So now for the exciting part…………..!
I’ll be back to RE:PLAY in August, thanks to all the guys there for all their hard work since I’ve been away. I can’t wait to hear how Ronan gets on in Birmingham with the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Team. Best of luck!
Now…Come on Ireland…