Thanks for dropping by…
Hopefully “Scrumptious – Rugby and sports writing with a twist” will give an informative, quirky and slightly sideways view into the world of rugby and sport in general. There will also be a few surprises thrown in for good measure!
In September 2015 I became a published author! Six Nations, Two Stories is published by The O’Brien Press (one of Ireland’s leading publishing houses). It was such a thrill to write (well, co-author!) my first book it got a post all to itself! Exciting times, considering I also covered my second Rugby World Cup as media last autumn too…
After having written rugby features on a freelance basis for the Irish Independent online (Ireland’s best selling daily newspaper and most visited news website http://www.independent.ie), from 2011 until the end of 2013, I moved on to writing for the websites of governing bodies such as RBS Six Nations, RaboDirect PRO12 (now Guinness PRO12) World Rugby ( formerly IRB).
I have also been working with for the IRFU, running their Women’s Interprovincial and Club media service, this means that I liaise with provinces and clubs to put together reports on the women’s game. I then deal with the sports desks of national newspapers (Irish Independent, Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Daily Star etc) and online media (TheJournal.ie’s The42.ie) to ensure as much of this coverage is put out into these mainstream media channels.
I have been lucky to travel to as accredited media to New Zealand twice, firstly for the 2011 Rugby World Cup and then back again in June 2012 for Ireland’s three test tour against the All Blacks. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love on those rugby tours but I did! Not with a hot Kiwi hunk but with the country! The people, the culture, the rugby, how similar yet how different it was from home caused me to fall under the spell of the Land of the Long White Cloud! So expect a few Kiwi flavours thrown into this blog.
Travelling to New Zealand gave me a real thirst to want to see more of the Southern Hemisphere and particularly what part rugby plays. So, off I went as part of the 2013 Lions Tour traveling media circus to Australia. I also fell for Australia big time!
Part of what this blog is going to be about are all those experiences from traveling as a journalist that you could not really write about when there are matches, Captain’s Runs, training and press conferences to attend. Sometimes this travelogue will not always be rugby related.
Since “Scrumptious” sounds a little like something cookery related, I will also indulge in posting about another passion – baking! I will try to tie in recipes I picked up on my travels and have a good story behind them.
As I originally trained as a teacher and then studied sociology I love to explore the human side of the game. What makes players ticks? What sort of mindset does it take to reach the pinnacle of your sport?
For me writing about rugby has been a privilege. I never would have visited some of the places I did or seen certain things (All Blacks playing their first test after winning the World Cup, Lions players training with disadvantaged school children in Sydney, etc, etc) if I had not been writing about rugby. I hope that will continue into the future and to share those moments on this blog.
2009-2012 Trinity News (best way to get experience writing – I owe this fantastic student newspaper a lot!)
2011-2014 Irish Independent (www.independent.ie)
2014 Emerald Rugby – Ireland’s Leading Rugby Magazine
2014 RaboDirect PRO12 (now Guinness PRO12 – http://www.pro12rugby.com)
2014 – Current RBS 6 Nations (www.rbs6nations.com)
2014 – Current World Rugby (formerly International Rugby Board)/Rugby World Cup (www.worldrugby.org/www.rugbyworldcup.com)
2014 – Current IRFU (www.irishrugby.ie)
2015 Co-authored Six Nations, Two Stories (with Peter O’Reilly) for The O’Brien Press
2016 – Current Rugby World (the world’s best selling rugby magazine!) – mainly online so far… http://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/ireland-countries/jamie-heaslip-cj-stander-tale-two-no-8s-56158
PS As you may or may not have noticed from the few splashes of pink on this blog, there may also be a few “girly bits” that would perhaps be a bit different to what you might expect to find on a rugby website!