From D and C teams in Blackrock College, to a nominee for Six Nations Player of the Tournament, it is clear that Hugo Keenan possesses innate mindset for improvement.
As an Energia Ambassador, Keenan spoke about those who have helped cultivate this mindset, and those who have acted as role models for him.
In our chat, he spoke highly of his parents and his peers at Leinster and Ireland, and in particular Blackrock College alumnus Garry Ringrose.
It probably motivated me as a young lad. I wasn't always on the best teams. I was always ambitious, always looking to improve, and I suppose, go up the ranks and up the ladder of teams.
So I think I’ve built up a few good habits from a young age as I climbed those teams in Blackrock from D’s to C’s, up to my final year in sixth year making that SCT team.
There’s brilliant standard setters both in Leinster and Ireland who are so so disciplined.
Garry Ringrose was the year above me in school. He was someone I always looked up to, and he was always a brilliant player in school, and how he has come through and just improved and improved, so I would have learned a lot off him and how he has gotten better.
A lot of it has to do with the amount of work he does on the pitch and off the pitch, those extras, so I try to follow him as best I can.
Hugo Keenan And Those Who Inspire Him
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Keenan's reputation as one of the best fullbacks in the world is due in part to his impressively rounded game, something he says was helped by the encouragement of his parents.
"My parents have been hugely supportive as well, they’ve always encouraged me to play different sports, to try my hand at different things, to develop different skillsets, and I suppose it’s probably helped me become a more rounded player as well.
It's not the first time Keenan has spoken about his parents influence, and we previously wrote about their dedication to their son and his love for the game of rugby.
"But they always got me involved in rugby, always would bring me to training, to matches.
"They used to bring me and my brothers up to games, and watching the likes of Sean O'Brien and Brian O'Driscoll playing for UCD probably helped me to get inspired to, to fall in love with the game.
"And yeah, definitely couldn't have done it without them."