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Devin Toner Explains How Having A Family Has Changed Perspective On Rugby

Devin Toner Explains How Having A Family Has Changed Perspective On Rugby

Devin Toner struggles to pinpoint anything differently he's been doing in the last few years to maintain an edge as he heads into the autumn of his career.

"Consistency, being confident in my own ability, confident in what I'm able to do," he says, speaking at the launch of Energia's official partnership with the IRFU.

Then it hits him - there is Max, his son born in September 2017.

"Having a kid is different as well," says the Leinster and Ireland second row.

When you go home, you switch off completely. When I go home, I don't think about rugby at all. On my days off, I don't think about rugby at all. I've got Max and Mary [his wife].

Being able to switch off my rugby is a huge thing. When you're back into the environment, you're switched back on - that's all you're thinking about.

I don't know if that has added to my performance or has added to how I play, but it could be a factor.

"When you're younger, you've a lot more time on your hands to worry about everything; you have a lot more time to think about losses, to think about everything," he continues.

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Energia, one of Ireland’s leading energy suppliers, today announced its official partnership with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU). This five-year partnership will see Energia become Official Energy Partner to Irish Rugby and title sponsor of both the Men’s and Women’s All Ireland League (AIL) competitions.

"When you've got a family, you can't. You've literally got more important things to do.

"It is a very big change in dynamic. Earlier on in my career, you're worrying about, 'Oh my God, am I going to get my contract renewed? Am I going to be able to get to that next level? Am I going to be able to get by that fella in my position?'

"There's a lot of things going on when you're a young player."

Toner suffered two injuries this season, an unusual occurrence for the 32-year-old who has been mostly injury-free for the majority of his career. An ankle break in 2010, while playing for Lansdowne, is the only other one of note.

"When I got injured, it was a bit of a rock and a hard place," he says.

"I did enjoy the time off but I didn't enjoy not playing; I didn't enjoy sitting and watching the rest of the Six Nations.

"I did enjoy the different schedule, I was just going in and doing rehab all day and I had the weekends off. It was a different day.

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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