Ó Scannáíl8682002g Feature Profile onPaul Boyle of Leinster u20s (700 words) Every breath PaulBoyle took spewed an icy mist through the winter air.
His friend’s words rungin his ears driving him on. Harder with each run, quicker through each speed ladder,more explosive with every bar he lifted. “you obviously won’t be a professionalrugby player”. Boyle, nowLeinster u20’s number 8, had always dreamed of playing rugby professionally. Hisdream, however, which is almost at touching distance, was not always so.
“I remember wewere outside ‘Fatcats’, (local fish and chips shop) Paul wasn’t in the bestshape at the time and had just finished two battered sausages, a bag of chipand a can. We had this twice a week for around two years.” Darragh Bellanova aclose friend and childhood team mate of Paul’s remembered.
“Anyway”, he continued “I asked Paul what hewanted to do when he was older to which he replied, I want to be a professionalrugby player. I remember laughing at him before realizing he was serious. Itold him that he obviously wouldn’t be a professional rugby player.” Boyle recalls thisas the moment he decided that he was going to go work towards his dream. “I hadalways thought about doing extra work by myself but never bothered.
That nightI was hurt and had grit in my teeth. I stayed for two hours by myself aftertraining running laps.” “In hindsight thisdidn’t do much for me except ware out my body, but it got me into a habit. I’dgo out probably 3 or 4 times a week by myself doing fitness or strength orspeed work” It’s this hardwork and motivation that Boyle attributes his current position within Leinsterrugby. “I lost a heap ofweight and started to get strong. I suppose it was those rainy days by myselfthat propelled me to play for Leinster and Ireland”. Boyle’s work ethichasn’t waned, according to his strength and conditioning coach Dave Fagan. “yousee him in the gym and he works harder than anyone I’ve seen.
You can tell thathe wants it and he’s doing everything in his power to get it”, he said. Twenty years old,Boyle is on track to achieving his goals. Having already captained Leinster u19sand received caps for an Irish u19s side, Paul is now a member of aninterprovincial championship winning Leinster 20s team and is in his firstseason with Lansdowne senior squad. His successes thusfar haven’t been without sacrifice. “yeah I miss outon an awful lot.
I can’t go on holidays with my friends and didn’t get to go tomy debs”, he explained. “every weekend I see photos of everyone heading out andI do get jealous but I remind myself that it’ll be well worth it in the end ifall goes well, and rugby has made me experience a lot of new thing and plentyof new places.” Boyle is one ofthe youngest players on the Lansdowne senior team but received great praisefrom Stephen Gardiner a teammate of the youngster. “he’s only new to the squadbut has already shown the talent that he is. He really showed the older guys uplast week, I can see a very bright future for him”, he said. Despite hisrelative success Boyle is firmly focused on the future. “ah you can’t sitthere thinking you’re great”, he said “what I’ve achieved is a means to an end.
You just have to take it one step at a time and hope that at the end you arewhere you want to be in your career”. With the Irelandu20s 6 nations squad to be decided on in the coming weeks and the u20s worldcup looming soon after, the next few months are huge in Boyle’s career. “the next year,especially up until the world cup are massive for me. I’ll know very soon ifI’ve made it or not”, he said. Within the nextyear, Boyle will know if he is to be offered a professional contract.
By thenhe’ll know if his dream did, after all come through and if the hard work andsacrifices have paid off. 30