With the 6 Nations less than two weeks away, Lovell Rugby had the opportunity to interview Leinster and Ireland stars Jamie Heaslip (Number 8) and Gordon D’arcy (Inside Centre). The pair won the Heineken Cup last season after a defeating Northampton Saints in the final then went on to represent their country at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Ireland will be looking to make up for their disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign with success at the 6 Nations. The team managed to beat Australia in the group stage in New Zealand however were knocked out by Wales in the quarter finals. Heaslip and D’Arcy will be taking on Wales in their first game of this years competition.
This is what the boys had to say:
Lovell Rugby: How long have you been wearing PUMA Rugby Boots?
Jamie Heaslip: 3 Years
GD: I’ve been wearing PUMA Rugby Boots for about eight years, but I used to wear them when I was a kid in school. I wore PUMA Kings playing Leinster Senior and Junior Cup competitions.
LR: You wear the PUMA V1.11, why did you choose that style?
JH: They come in an array of lovely colours and they’re nice and light
GD: They’re really really light and comfortable; I like the studs which have a good balance between the front and the back. The speed of the modern game means you’re always on the go so the boots being so light definitely makes a difference.
LR: What are the main attributes you look for in a pair of Rugby Boots?
JH: That they give you good support. For me the V1-11’s make me feel like I’m not actually wearing anything on my feet and they give me good control.
GD: Because I do a lot of stepping changing of direction I like my boots to give me a lot of support and security so that when I step hard it’s important to know that my boot is going to react to my movement giving me the support I need. To be honest pretty much any of the PUMA boots I’ve used have been top notch. Comfort is also a big factor – sometimes with inferior boots and you can feel the studs come through into your heels, toes and sole of your foot. That’s not a nice thing when you’re wearing them as much as we do.
LR: Do you have a favourite colour of Rugby Boot?
JH: White is my favourite colour but anything bright and colourful. My favourite ones so far are white or canary yellow which I have worn a couple of times.
GD: Standard black boots for me.
LR: Do you keep any boots from certain memorable games?
JH: No actually. I give them to my buddies. Pretty much all of the Naas J3 team are wearing PUMA boots around in all sorts of colours! No, I’m not one for keeping the boots.
GD: To be honest, no. By the time I’m finished with them they’re fairly wrecked.
LR: How are you finding the season so far?
JH: Good. The World Cup didn’t go our way but I came back and got in the mix with Leinster and we’re going very well. We’re now qualified for a home quarter final in the Heineken Cup and we’re top of the Rabo Direct Pro 12 so we’re doing alright.
GD: It’s been really good. We had a great start to the World Cup but it didn’t finish exactly how we would have liked. Saying that we got great support from the crowds in New Zealand as well as at home which was fantastic. It’s great to get straight back into it with Leinster, we’re going really well in Europe. Here we are at the start of the Six Nations with a chance to prove ourselves against Wales who knocked us out of the World Cup.
LR: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
JH: I’ve had many highlights; winning two Heineken Cups, winning the Celtic League, winning the Grand Slam and getting play for the Lions to name a few!
GD: God there have been so many. I’ve been very lucky playing rugby for 14 years. If I have to pick a few I’d say; getting my first cap, winning the Triple Crown for the first time, winning the Grand Slam and the celebrations arriving back home; playing my first match after a near career ending injury with a broken arm and getting a try on my return for Ireland.
LR: Are you looking forward to the 2012 RBS 6 Nations?
JH: Yes. Getting back into the Ireland camp and seeing all the lads again will be good.
GD: Yeah I really am. It’s nice to be kicking off with Wales in the Aviva.