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Getting to Know…Tadgh McElroy

Name: Tadgh McElroy

Nickname: T

Age: 21

Position: Hooker

Club: Saracens

Do you have another position you’d love to play given the choice? I’ve played 6 before and really enjoyed it, so back row.

First memory of playing rugby? I remember my Dad taking me to my local rugby club Dundalk RFC and getting into training for the first time and I loved it!

Who did you support as a kid? I grew up supporting Leinster, my local province.

Who are the people who’ve helped you the most in your career so far? I couldn’t name everyone that’s helped me, there have been quite a lot however, the under age coaches with Ireland and Leinster have been brilliant and obviously now at Saracens the coaching staff are great with feedback which helps me massively. Also, my Dad has put a massive shift in to get me where I am today.

Who was your hero growing up and why? It has to be John Smit, the South African hooker. Loved the way he played and as an all round hooker, with his lineout and scrummaging – he was an animal with great aggression.

What are your personal aims this season? To make myself the best I can, show the coaches how bad I want it and be ready if the opportunity arrives.

Proudest moment of your career to date? It would definitely have to be coming on for my first team debut away at Sale – that was special and to have my family there was amazing.

Who is the best player you have played with? I’ve played with a lot of good senior guys in the Saracens squad but one of the younger guys would have to be Max Malins. Great player, makes life easy on the field and he’s always on it – he’s just a good guy all round!

Who’s the best player you wish you’d played with, and why? I would have to pick Jonah Lomu – the way he played rugby was amazing and would be cool to play alongside him.

The Martians have landed, and we’ve lost the toss…we’ve got Mars away next week in a game to save the world, who is the first player on your team sheet (past or present) and why? Again, it would have to be Jonah Lomu, his momentum and ball carrying was amazing – he could turn nothing into something, which in a game to save the world, you need someone like that lol.

What’s your favourite band/musician? I don’t really have a favourite but I listen to everything from drake to UB40.

What’s your favourite food? Duck with black bean sauce…crispy skin.

What’s your favourite film? Space Jam! Always loved it as a kid.

Where is your favourite holiday destination? I’d definitely say Italy – Beautiful cities, great views and good food to top it off!

What’s your favourite hobby? Playing Fortnite – I’m not really that good but I think I’m amazing so it’s alright lol.

Have you got any embarrassing rugby moments you’d like to share? I remember in the U20’s Six Nations last year, I was running towards a ruck and I’ve fallen over before the ruck which hurt a lot and we lost the ball, so wasn’t my best moment.

If you weren’t playing rugby, what would you be doing? I would love to get into coaching, so I would have to say rugby coach. Also, I would love to own my own gym some day, something I’ve always wanted to do.

What are your plans for life after rugby? Again, I hope to become a coach and stay involved in the game but opening up my own gym would be amazing.

What tops your bucket list? Try and pass my driving test this time round!!!

If you could choose any shop to get stuck in overnight, what would it be? That’s a hard one but Morrison’s because I’d have all the food I need to get me through the night and a pop up tent will do for the night to get some sleep.

If you could choose any three guests for your own dinner party, who would they be and why?

Brian O’Driscoll – he’s an Irish legend, probably one of the greatest players to play for Ireland. John Smit – best hooker in my eyes and was someone I looked up to when I was a young hooker growing up. And my Dad – because if I went for a meal with two rugby legends and I had an extra ticket, he wouldn’t be happy if I left him out!!

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