herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

‘I can’t stand reading about myself – even if I’ve played well’, admits Jamie Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip
Jamie Heaslip

Irish rugby star Jamie Heaslip tries to avoid the internet trolls after a match.

The Leinster star has been named on the squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup, but he said he steers clear of any analysis of his performances.

“I’ll put it this way, you know if you play bad or not,” he said.

“You don’t need to have that kind of negative content or a voice being amplified by looking at stuff written about you, podcasts, radio shows or stuff online. I just kind of avoid it.”

The 31-year-old said his father taught him to take all of the media coverage with a pinch of salt.

“If you believe all the good stuff you read about yourself, then you’re going to have to believe the bad stuff,” he said.

“So I decided a long, long time ago to just avoid anything to do about me and rugby, I just don’t read about it.

“I look forward to the days when I can read the opinion pages in the sports section, but I find it easier not to get involved in that.

“I just can’t allow myself do that right now as a player. A lot of guys reads loads afterwards and go online, but I can’t handle that,” he added.

The Irish squad will face Canada in Cardiff on Saturday and the boys enjoyed  their last few days at home before flying over to Britain today.

“[We’ve been]  seeing friends and family and getting last minute things done before we leave and, hopefully, come back happier men.”

No doubt the boys will be spending quality time with their wives and girlfriends prior to the first match, as it was recently revealed they will be in limited contact with their other halves during the competition.

Jamie has been in a relationship with broadcaster and former model Sheena O Buachalla (inset) off and on since 2010.

Partners and players will travel to the games separately, but rugby bosses are trying to be as accommodating as possible.

“They will be travelling at different times and for different games,” an IRFU spokesperson said.  “They’ll come in for post-match meals, any celebrations, on rest days.

“We have families’ rooms in the hotels we are using as well.”

Other WAGs expected to travel to Wales next week include Rob Kearney’s girlfriend Jess Reddan and Ian Madigan’s other half Anna Kirwan.

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