Ireland flanker Kevin McLaughlin is Leinster’s Magners League Ambassador this season. Here’s your first chance to get to know him just a little bit better…
A family affair
Kevin completed a family hat-trick when he made his Ireland debut against Italy in the 2010 RBS 6 Nations championship. That game at Croke Park meant he became the third member of his family to compete in a major event at the famous Irish ground.
Two of his father's uncles, Tom O'Reilly in 1933 and 1935, and his brother John Joe in 1948, won All-Ireland Senior Football titles there for Cavan. There were also in the same Cavan team that took the title in New York in 1947.
Did you know?
Kevin earned a degree in Commerce in 2007 and qualified as a Financial Advisor in 2010. He was educated at Gonzaga College, Dublin and University College, Dublin.
Facts, figures and favourites
Tea or Coffee: Green tea. Better for you than loads of cups of coffee.
Pasta or chips: Pasta.
What book are you reading: Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson. I always have a book on the go and this one is an inspiring, semi-autobiographical story. Reading helps beat the boredom of travelling.
Favourite gadget: iPhone – always on hand.
Bench press: 90kgs. I’m not the strongest.
Leg press: 400 kgs.
Pet: No – a dead dog from years ago.
Car: Volkswagen Scirocco.
Hobbies: I play the guitar – Eric Clapton – and I sing in the RTE Philharmonic Choir. Both my parents are pretty musical – Dad plays the guitar and Mum also sings in a choir.
Favourite soccer team: Manchester United. I’ve followed them since I was a kid and got to go to side them play Wigan, Aston Villa and Everton.
Magners League debut: vs Glasgow at Hughendon 2006 – we lost. It was a big upset and not what I was expecting.
Favourite ground: RDS.
Least favourite ground: Sportsground, Galwey. Always a difficult place to go an play.
Player most admired: Richie McCaw.
Most difficult opponent: Marty Holah.
Biggest hit: On a Scarlets second row in the Heineken Cup last season. He went up in the air and back a long way.
Biggest hit on you: In the same game when their centre hit me as I stretched to take a pass above my head. He picked me up and drove me back. It was embarrassing and it ended up on You Tube on Rugby Dump. All my friends loved it!
First team: Lansdowne U10s.
First coach(es): Aiden Connaughton and Hans Geisler.
First trophy: Metro League U11s with Lansdowne. I think my Mum still has the medal.
Other sports:I played soccer and tennis when I was younger and still play a bit of golf.
First sporting autograph: I used to go and see the Irish international matches with my Dad, but I was never one to collect autographs. I remember feeling embarrassed when I had to sign my first autograph as a Leinster player at a ‘meet and greet’ session. The kids didn’t know me from Adam, but they just wanted to get a signature.
To hear more from Kevin throughout the season, keep your eye on the Ambassadors section of this website.