‘I played tennis when I was younger in school – I was never that good’

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‘I played tennis when I was younger in school – I was never that good’


Jean Kleyn dreams of making Wimbledon one day. Photo: Sportsfile
Jean Kleyn dreams of making Wimbledon one day. Photo: Sportsfile

1. What’s your pre-training routine?

I spend most of my time strapping my fingers and wrists. I don’t really have much of a pre-training routine. I just get out, get a bit of a run in and pass the ball around.

2. You’re in charge of the after-match tunes, what goes on first?

‘Tennessee Whiskey’.

3. Imagine a world where you’re not a rugby player – what’s your job?

I would like to be an engineer. I started studying engineering before I played rugby.

4. Stranded on a desert island, what three things do you take?

A good knife, flint and fishing line.

5. Which team-mate would you want with you and why?

Probably Rhys Marshall. He is an absolute scavenger. He will eat anything.

6. What’s your favourite Instagram page you follow and why?

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Awesome People Doing Things. It usually just posts videos of people doing spectacular things.

7 What do you do when not training or playing a match?

I have a pair of dogs, Heidi and Rambo, so I spend a lot of time walking them. Then I just chill.

I am doing a bit of study at the moment too so that keeps me busy. I like to play PlayStation as well.

8. What’s your first sporting memory as a player or spectator?

My first sporting memory was when I was about eight. We were playing schools rugby. Underage was usually the very first game of the day on a Saturday.

The fields were frozen. I remember going in for a tackle and my dad coming to me when there was a break in play and telling me to stop tackling like a wuss.

9. You have one moment from your career to do over. What is it?

I won a Currie Cup with Western Province in 2014 and I would like to do that over. It was a good moment to have but I would like to win a bit of silverware with Munster and make a new memory.

10. What rugby skill would you most like to possess?

I would love to have a little bit of pace.

11. Favourite song lyric?

Imagine Dragons, Believer: ‘Don’t you tell me what you think that I can be, I’m the one at the sail, I’m the master of my sea.’

12. What current player in your position do you most admire?

Brodie Retallick is at the top of the game and has got a bit of everything. He would be one of the players you would aspire to play like.

13. What former coach has had the biggest effect on your game and why?

Probably John Dobson. I was about to quit rugby and he was the fella who said, ‘Listen, you are going to have a career here so don’t be silly’. He was also the fella who gave me my first run at playing professional rugby.

14. What was your first car?

My first car was a 1.4 litre two-door Ford Fiesta from 1999 or something.

15. What sporting event makes your bucket list?

I would love to go watch Wimbledon one day. It’s on the list of the world’s greatest sporting events.

I played a bit of tennis when I was younger, coming up through school. I was never that good but it was good craic so I’d love to go along and experience that.

16. One minute to go in the Champions Cup final, your team is four points down back on your own line. What do you do?

You’d have to hold onto the ball, be patient, get through the phases. If you do that an opening will eventually appear. You play end to end and then you score in the corner and kick it over.

17. What was the last concert you went to?

I saw Ed Sheeran in Phoenix Park last year, it was after the loss to Leinster. A very bittersweet memory for me.

18. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I like to practise a lot of carpentry in my spare time.

19. What’s your best memory playing rugby for Munster?

The 2016 St Stephen’s Day win over Leinster at home. That was unreal, a good game to play in and also one of the biggest matches in my first season.

20. Who’ll win the 2019 Guinness PRO14, Champions Cup and Rugby World Cup?

Munster, Munster and Ireland.

Irish Independent


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