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The Power Of Positive Thinking
Ask Jamie Heaslip how we are going to do in the World Cup in the Autumn and he responds: “We’ll win it.” But he says a lot more too, in what is his most personal and in-depth interview ever...
Anne Sexton, 02 Jun 2011
Do you do anything before a match to psyche yourself up?
Not really. The night before, I like to chill out. It doesn’t matter if people are hanging around, but usually they’re gone by 9 o’clock, 10 o’clock and I go to bed.
No, it depends on the game. Usually our games are like 2pm, 3pm or 7pm. If it’s not at 2pm, I’ve no problem going to bed at 12 or 1am, you know what I mean. I’ve no real routine. We get there an hour before before kick-off, but it only takes me half an hour to get ready.
You have the Heineken Cup Final on May 21, eight days after the Magners semi against Ulster. That’s not a lot of time between matches.
Yep, eight days, that’s all.
Isn’t that a worry because of injuries?
No, I’d be more worried if we had a game that was meaningless. You can get hurt in training, just as easily as in games, but games where you’re not focused there’s a bigger chance of your getting injured, especially if you’ve got a game the following week. I don’t think many guys are focused on that [injuries]. We’re so competitive and we’ve got a bit of business in both leagues and this is knock-out stuff. You can’t take your eye off it, especially for this one. They know us pretty well; we know them pretty well. It’s going to be an interesting one.
Do you fancy your chances?
I’ve been told that I’m cocky at times but I’m always going to back our team. I don’t go into it to lose – when you’ve got 15 of their guys trying to hurt you and trying to score, you can’t go in with a half-hearted attitude.
It is a dangerous game at times?
Ah, not really! It’s a contact sport. I’ve been playing for nearly 20 years now and I’ve only had two serious injuries.
What were they?
I shattered my eye socket and I separated the two bones in the bottom of my leg – the ligament between went, but that’s it. Bad stuff can happen in anything.
You were around seven when you started playing?
Well, I always played. I have a brother who’s 12 years older than me and a brother that’s ten years older than me, and monkey see, monkey do. I always wanted to be my older brothers when I was younger. I saw them playing rugby and I wanted to play rugby. When the time came I was about eight or nine. My home down in Naas is a five-minute drive from the local rugby club so out I went and started playing. The guys I played rugby with then are still my best mates.