Returning Irish U20s players have a few more weeks rest before resuming training and one such player is new academy recruit, Tralee man Danny Barnes. Moving up from the sub academy this summer, the nineteen year old centre will play his club rugby with Dolphin RFC next season. Born in Auckland NZ, Danny and family made the move to Ireland when he was ten years old. Representative honours include Munster U18/19/20s, Munster A and Irish U18/20s.
How did you first hear you were going out to join the Ireland U20s squad?
I was in London on holiday and I got a call one afternoon saying to get on a flight out to Japan as soon as possible.
Had you been training up to that point?
Not as much as I would have liked, I had taken the last 2 weeks off before I got the call.
You were obviously totally taken by surprise?
Oh ya completely, sure I was on holidays, didnâ00t have boots or anything and I had to buy a pair of boots out there. I was so surprised because I wasnâ00t involved in the 6 Nations campaign or the development side so it was nice to get the call up and it was my last chance to play International rugby at that age level.
Had you ever been to Japan before?
No it was the first time and a brilliant opportunity. I got the call before the final pool game against Uruguay and was lucky enough to start in that game and play the full thing, which I was pleased with.
You went on to meet Wales and Samoa, finishing in eight place overall....
Ya we were unlucky enough in the end and just didnâ00t have enough to beat the Welsh. We left a lot behind in that game but more so against Samoa, and we should have come away with fifth or sixth but sometimes it just doesnâ00t happen.
When did you get the news that you were moving from the sub academy into the academy?
A month ago or so Munster Rugby offered me the contract and I was pretty happy to say the least, Iâ00m looking forward to the season ahead. The training is going to be tough but overall I think itâ00ll be a great opportunity.
What are you hoping to get out of next season?
Well, I just hope to have a good season and develop on from last year.....onwards and upwards hopefully.