Our next AMA subject is Jonny Holland, a former professional rugby player with Munster who retired at 25 because of a hamstring injury. Since retiring, he has completed a post graduate degree in Applied Sports & Exercise Nutrition; is the assistant coach with Cork Constitution; and provides exercise nutrition and personal coaching, and other services.
If you'd like to find out more about his services (since it is January!), visit his website (https://www.jonnyholland10.com/). And if you have any questions, fire ahead below!
Is there anything about being a professional rugby player that you don't miss?
what, if any, support is there for young players who have to retire, offered from the IRFU?
is it adequate and what can fans / clubs etc do to improve it?
Were you always aiming to be a professional rugby player?
Who was the most "professional" player you came across?
Who was the most skilled player you played with?
How did you get to professional level? Did you start out in a local Rugby club? Were you sent to some sort of prestigious school for it?
Is Zebo as much of a messer in real life as he appears on social media?
What were the details of the hamstring injury? Did you need surgery? How long was/were the rehab period(s)? How many times did you try to make a comeback from it?
Why do you think more rugby players dont move around Ireland to get game time with different provinces? Do players put more value into being part of their own provinces squad over game time?
Jordi Murphy is moving to Ulster at the end of the season, but he seems to be one of the few willing to make the move.
Is the game as we know it on borrowed time give the emerging information on the damage and prevalence of concussion type injuries?
If so, how do you think it might change?
Thanks for doing this! Should be an interesting read.
Who are you tipping for silverware this year in Pro 14, Europe, and AIL?
Was nutrition always important to you or was it something that you developed more of an interest in when you went pro?
And what do you think of schools / youth clubs implementing meal plans and gym routines?
What positions did you play moving up through the age grades (always love hearing about a prop who played full back or vice-versa )?
What, if anything, would you change about underage rugby, particularly at kids level (watching the minis at half-time is often a case of give the ball to the player who had the growth spurt, it seems!)?
And for a more serious/somber question, is there any support in place for players who pick up career ending injuries?
Absolutely! Cold, wet training sessions. Not being selected, explaining to family and friends why you think you haven't been selected.
Rugby Players Ireland, formerly IRUPA, offer some services but I think when you come out of the game you find your own way to deal with it. People deal with things differently. They could have offered more in terms of a career path/experience but Cork Con are very good on this front.
Hi Johnny, thanks for doing the AMA.
Following your retirement, did you find it a struggle to go to and/or watch games? Did you attempt to distance yourself from rugby for a period?
Is the only way to play professional rugby to play schools rugby or can you get there through club rugby?
My son has potential and wants to take it further but the schools system is completely out of our reach financially.
Did you ever have a crack at Rugby League?