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Getting To Know Jack Cullen

8th August 2014 By Munster Rugby

Now in Year Two of the Greencore Munster Academy programme, we catch up with scrum-half Jack Cullen ahead of his debut for the Munster U20s tonight, against Italy U20s in Garryowen at 7pm.

Now in Year Two of the Greencore Munster Academy programme, we catch up with scrum-half Jack Cullen ahead of his debut for the Munster U20s tonight, against Italy U20s in Garryowen at 7pm.

Born in England, Jack grew up north of London and first plied his trade with Bishops Stortford RFC.

With Irish heritage in his family, Jack was to follow in the footsteps of his older brother in lining out for the Irish Exiles (the purpose of the Exiles Branch is to identify and develop potential Irish professional players in England, Scotland and Wales) and winning selection for Ireland U18 Clubs. Impressive representative performances at that level, under the stewardship of Munster Elite Player Development Officer Colm McMahon, placed him firmly on the radar of the Greencore Munster Academy.

At the start of the 2013/14 season Cullen accepted the offer to join the Academy ranks, making the move from the Saracens youth programme. Since then, the scum-half represented Munster U19s in last season’s interprovincial series, and played for Ireland U19s against Australia Schools at Ravenhill last December.

At just 18 years of age, he came off the bench in three of Ireland U20s' games of the 2014 Six Nations, making his first start against France.

Jack speaks about his time in the Academy to date. “Wherever you go there’s a different style of play and I’ve certainly learnt a lot from the people I’ve played with so far in my career. The way the game is played here is differs from the way I played in England and playing both styles has helped vary my game and in particular has helped my game management.

“Getting to train with the senior players in Munster, where it’s a case of faster pace and greater accuracy, has been massively beneficial to us in the Academy.

“Also the whole experience of moving out of home, away from my family in England, together with the discipline of becoming a professional rugby player has developed me as a person, I’ve grown up fast over the past year!”

Munster U20 v Italy U20, tonight at Garryowen FC, KO 7pm. For full team and match details please click here.

Name: Jack Cullen

Favourite Food: Bacon sandwich

Book you are currently reading or have just finished: Beautiful Day by Katie Anthony

Favourite TV programme: Fargo

Favourite Film: Planet of the Apes

Favourite Actor/Actress: Mila Kunis

Most enjoyable holiday location: Cornwall

Marooned on a desert island what could you not be without: Guitar

Favourite sport other than rugby: Surfing

The sport you least like: Football

Person you would most like to meet: David Attenborough

Sportsperson you admire most: Bradley Wiggins

Hobbies: Surfing, Golf, Playing the guitar

Where and when did you first play rugby: Bishops Stortford RFC

Biggest influence on career: Father

Best career advice you were given: Just go for it!

What you like most/least about being a rugby player: Being part of a team/being force fed!

Other sports that you played: Hockey, cricket, golf

Best rugby memory: Winning the English National Colt final in 2012

Rugby player you admire most: Jonny Wilkinson

Rugby team you admire most: Barbarians

Sporting event you would most like to attend: Olympic opening ceremony

Three people you would invite to dinner and why: Jamie Oliver, but only if he brings the food, and Ricky
Gervais and Karl Pilkington for the amusement

If you weren’t a rugby player what would you be: A musician

Place in the province where you most like to chill out: Delish Café

Pre-match rituals: Nothing other than a pitch walk with some music

Favourite song or band you like to train to/listen to before a game: Intro by The XX

Who would you least like to room with and why: Greg O’Shea because he’s extremely messy!!

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