Jonny Cooper Surprised By How Much Owen Farrell Wanted To Learn From Him

Jonny Cooper Surprised By How Much Owen Farrell Wanted To Learn From Him

Being of the Dublin team for the last decade has provided Jonny Cooper with many opportunities to learn from a variety of people in other sports.

Cooper has visited the Leinster and Munster rugby teams and has had what he calls "cultural exchanges" with Aussie rules teams like reigning champions Richmond.

He also got a chance to visit English rugby team Saracens and spend some time chatting with England captain Owen Farrell.

"I went over to Saracens for a couple of days, took a couple of days off work, flew over to London, took a taxi up to their grounds," Cooper told The Sideline Live podcast.

"I watched their session and next thing I know I’m in a cafe 20 minutes down the road with Owen Farrell for an hour and a half, two hours, talking about all sorts of different things.

"That type of thing, this is the captain of England at 25 or 26, and he’s obviously done lots since then. For me, he’s a massive role model and that type of a thing. You obviously get a bounce from that.

"It’s not that I didn’t believe I had something to offer but I was going there very much with a, ‘What can I pull in to me, to help my team-mates?’ Whereas I guess he had the kind of the same thing [in mind]. I’m not surprised given his level of performance.


"Andy Farrell (Owen Farrell's father) is head [coach] of the Irish team. There were little connections. Owen's younger brother actually plays GAA here in Dublin. It wasn't all to do with leadership and captaincy. There were some other, human, elements to the conversation."

The six-time All-Ireland winner added: "The first thing is you're going in and saying, 'How can I learn?' You have your notebook and your eyes are wide open. You're just trying to spot as much as you can: What is he doing? What's their language? What's their body language?

"Because they're professional, you think they might be different, but they're not; they're just looking for gains and looking to be the best they can possibly be."

You can listen to the full interview with Cooper here.

Picture credit: Sportsfile

See Also: These Are Some Of Ireland's Most Famous Sporting Cousins

PJ Browne
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