Brotherly competitiveness is keeping Connacht Rugby's Ultan Dillane on his toes during lockdown.
The two siblings, Ultan and Cian, share a house with Connacht prop Dominic Robertson McCoy, and the trio are keeping each other fit and active.
"It’s nice everyone trying to push each other on to do some conditioning or an extra weight session, because it’s not as if we are going playing any games so there’s plenty of time to recover," he says. In addition the three are giving each other nutritional tips because "it’s so easy to fall into that lull of just eating whatever you want."
Rugby players have been supplied with gym equipment to replicate normal training, which, Dillane says, has been a real positive.
"It’s been definitely different, that's for sure. It has taken some getting used to, but at times it’s been quite enjoyable.
"The provinces have done the best they can with gym equipment to try to facilitate us to train as normal. So despite the big change that has happened to everyone, we’ve been no different.
"We’ve been given the gym, divided up between all the players, and luckily enough we’ve enough equipment in the house to get some good training under our belts. It has taken some getting used to, but at times it’s been quite enjoyable."
It is also providing different challenges, he says.
"There’s a lot of exercise that is really hard and the body definitely doesn’t like it, but it’s a nice challenge to try to better yourself and it is something you otherwise wouldn’t be doing much of. I think all three of us are trying to target some goals and trying to achieve some personal bests by the time we get back to normality."
Dillane is missing the physicality of training with his team-mates, and the routines associated with playing.
"Even just to carry into contact or make a tackle, it feels like so long ago since we’ve done any of that, lacing up your boots properly you know? I’d say everyone is in the same boat, even like passing a rugby ball, we’re passing it around, but not as you would in a game. It’s crazy it feels like ages since I’ve done a line-out so, I’d say there is a lot of people itching to get back playing.
However, he says the lockdown has also helped him understand how important sport is to everyone.
"To be honest, it’s come on my mind a couple of times. There’s been a number of us who have been approached to do sports challenges to keep kids and people entertained in different parts of the country, and it’s mad how a small little trick-shot challenge or whatever it is, for say a GAA team, is so helpful just to keep people occupied, Sport is big for everyone and that really shows in these times we’re in.
"Boredom is so easy to creep in right now. You can't go too far from where you are, and it’s great to play a game or just kick a ball around, or just have a bunch of people to get tired out playing or doing something. It's like an addiction or something, everyone wants to be out there playing some form of sport."
* Dillane is a member of Rugby Players Ireland supporting the Tackle Your Feelings App which is free to download through Apple and Google Play App stores.