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Jamie Heaslip Reveals The Craziest Roommates Of His Rugby Career

Jamie Heaslip Reveals The Craziest Roommates Of His Rugby Career
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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During his rugby career, Jamie Heaslip mostly roomed with Cian Healy while playing with Ireland and Leinster. He says it's probably why they became best friends.

Speaking on BBC 5 Live's Rugby Union Weekly podcast, Heaslip elaborated on some of the other players he bunked with over the years.

He was paired with Johnny O'Connor on his first time in Ireland camp. Heaslip said the former Connacht backrow as the "scariest" roomate he's had.

"I walk into the room, it's only about nine o'clock on a Sunday night and he's already in bed asleep shouting at me to shut up and turn off all the lights.

"I was like, 'Oh my God'. He just scared the life out of me in general; he looked at you with these psycho eyes."

Heaslip said the 2009 Lions trip to South Africa - the last old school tour - is his favourite of all those of which he has been a part.

On that tour, he had former England prop Phil Vickery smoking of their hotel room window. "Which I thought, 'We're on a Lions tour here and you're having a cigarette out the window of the hotel. What's going on?' He was an absolute gent."


Heaslip also crashed with rival for the number eight jersey on that 2009 tour, Andy Powell.

I roomed with him the first Test week in South Africa. So we're both going for the eight spot and we don't know who's getting picked, obviously. So I get the nod and it's Tuesday. I'm like, 'Jaysus, how is this going to go in the room? It's going to be a bit awkward'.

True Powelly style, straight up he was congratulating me. He was like, 'Don't worry, bud. It's all good'. I was, 'Grand. Thanks, thanks'.

The problem: Powell took advantage of not being part of the weekend Test team by hitting the town, a lot. According to podcast host Ugo Monye, who was also a member of that 2009 squad, Powell went out 13 of the last 14 nights in South Africa.

"You know Powelly, he likes a night out so I was like, 'He's going to be out the whole time this week waking me up'. Not once did he wake me up but I did wake up one morning and he wasn't in the room but I went to bed and I didn't have pizza in the room. I woke up and there was pizza struck to the roof, the ceiling of the room.

"It just typified Powelly and his craziness. He said he'd come in, brought pizza back but didn't want to wake me up. So he thought it'd make sense to put it on the roof so I'd see it in the morning. I don't know what he was thinking."


Ugo Monye added that Luke Fitzgerald had a more stressful time staying with the Welshman.

"Luke Fitzgerald is about to make his Test debut for the Lions. Obviously a huge, huge game for him. I'd been dropped and he'd been selected in the team.

"Powelly went out the night before. Rocks up, 4am. Not for a second did he think that this guy is about to make history for himself. He walks in with a massive bag of chips and a pizza.


"He turns the lights on and Luke's like, 'Mate, turn the lights off, I've got to play tomorrow'. He launches a pizza. Apparently, it hit the fan and span around the room. He sat up in his bed and was like [chomp, chomp noises]."

Picture credit: Andrew Fosker / SPORTSFILE

See Also: Neil Francis Has Declared Rugby To Be Ireland's New 'National Game'

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